Oxfordshire at top of national recycling table for ninth year

For the ninth year in a row, residents in Oxfordshire have topped the table nationally when it comes to recycling, reusing and composting.

Oxfordshire County Council has again been named the best performing county council waste disposal authority in England. In 2021 - 22, residents recycled, reused or composted 58.2 per cent of their household waste, according to the latest government figures.

But despite this success, the council said it is not complacent and will continue to look for ways to improve its figures even further.

Councillor Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “I want to thank our residents and waste management teams for once again putting Oxfordshire at the top of the table.

“However, we’re not recycling over a third of what we could, and we need to look for ways of really shifting the dial on that. We know this is what the people of Oxfordshire expect of us.”

The total amount of household waste produced in Oxfordshire was 301,902 tonnes for 2021 - 2022. And 150,086 tonnes were reused, recycled and composted, which created a carbon benefit equivalent to 121,308 tonnes of carbon dioxide compared to disposing of it through landfill.

Oxfordshire’s five district and city councils, which operate the kerbside collections, also achieved excellent results in their national category. South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse came second and fourth respectively with recycling rates of 62.7 per cent and 61.9 per cent, while West Oxfordshire, Cherwell, and Oxford City councils were all in the top performing 22 per cent.

Along with the county council, the district and city councils make up the Oxfordshire Resources and Waste Partnership (ORWP) – a collaborative partnership which works together to improve recycling and waste management services for residents.

Vicky Beechey, ORWP Manager, said: “Oxfordshire local authorities have long been recognised as high performing in recycling and their ongoing delivery of excellent recycling and waste management services. To see partners’ hard work reflected in these figures is testament to the commitment of those involved to deliver best value and positive environmental outcomes for Oxfordshire residents.

“As ever, we will not be resting on our laurels with more to do to improve recycling, reuse, and composting rates. Everyone has a role to play in maintaining and improving on how recycling and waste is managed correctly; using tools such as the Waste Wizard to help put the items we have in the right place – whether that’s for reuse, to repair or to throw away.

“ORWP partners know times are really challenging for residents and by taking proper action we can all reduce food waste, keep items in use for longer and reduce the amount of waste we produce – for the benefit of everyone.”

For those looking to reduce their waste further, the Community Action Group network and Replenish project have lots of opportunities to get involved with local schemes, and tips on how to reduce waste and improve their local environment. Residents can also visit Climate Action Oxfordshire for ideas on the practical things they can do to reduce waste and make better climate choices with the time they have available. 

Visitors to Oxfordshire’s seven household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) were recently asked to separate recyclable material from their general waste before disposing of it.

By sorting their mixed rubbish out before their visit, residents can prevent items that can be recycled from ending up in the general waste and bulky skips – increasing the county’s recycling rates further.

Users are also reminded that the cost to customers of disposing of DIY and other chargeable waste at Oxfordshire’s HWRCs has risen from 1 April. While most items can still be left free of charge, DIY waste is legally classified as industrial waste and incurs a small charge.

The county council is currently carrying out a consultation into its HWRC strategy for the next 20 years. One of the aims is to provide places where people can give things to be used again, recycle things easily and safely, and throw things away in the right way.

People can have their say on the strategy on the council’s Let’s talk Oxfordshire website by 8 May.

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