Oxfordshire is among the best for recycling but how can we do even better?

People in Oxfordshire are among the best in the whole of the country at recycling but as the nation embarks on Recycle Week there’s more everyone can do to improve the situation even more.

The theme for the Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) seventeenth annual Recycle Week is to thank the people of Oxfordshire for continuing to recycle despite all that has happened this year.

Statistics released by Recycle Now show that through lockdown, Britain has become even more environmentally aware, with nearly 9 in 10 households saying they regularly recycle.

Coming out of lockdown, more people are prepared to change their lifestyles to help the environment: 73%, up from 68% in 2019. An amazing 93% of households say they believe that “everyone has a responsibility to help towards cleaning up the environment.”

The figures come from research carried out during lockdown and an omnibus survey completed in July. The four district councils and the city council in Oxford operate the kerbside collections of household recycling and waste, which Oxfordshire County Council then disposes of.

In 2019, 58.62% of household waste was recycled in Oxfordshire overall against a national average of 44.8% according to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

There is still though more we can all do to recycle more to help defeat both waste and climate change. You can now use a great tool launched this year called Waste Wizard to see what can be recycled where.

Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP, said:

“It’s fantastic to see that despite everything that has been thrown at them this year, more people than ever in Oxfordshire are taking responsibility for protecting the environment by choosing to recycle. This is something we can all do, wherever we live – an individual action that, when performed by everyone, adds up to a huge change.

“Oxfordshire’s recycling and waste workers have been real heroes too, providing the best service possible under the most difficult of circumstances. The recognition they received in the form of friendly waves, notes, cards and gifts left out for them is heart-warming proof of how Oxfordshire has cooperated.

“Recycle Week this year is an opportunity to thank everyone in Oxfordshire for continuing to recycle, whatever their circumstances and to celebrate the way we have all pulled together. There has been a positive leap forward in attitudes that we must capitalise on so Oxfordshire can do even better in the coming year!”

Oxfordshire County Council, businesses and other organisations are joining in with a range of activities to highlight the importance of recycling. Everyone – organisations and individuals - can support Recycle Week by using #RecycleWeek on social media.

Cllr Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment said:

“Oxfordshire is doing well at recycling and we thank residents for helping us but there is still a lot more to be done to improve recycling rates. Better recycling involves all of us and this will help us to attain our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The Oxford Environmental Partnership of the Oxfordshire district, city and county councils has a target to increase recycling to 70% by 2025. You can help us reach this goal by separating out your food waste as well as your plastics, glass metals and cardboard to make a real difference! Our Waste Wizard tool available on our website here can also advise you on what can be recycled and where.

For more information about recycling and waste in Oxfordshire, please visit: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/environment-and-planning/waste-and-recycling

For more information on Recycle Now, visit: www.recyclenow.com