Rubbish record goes to recycling residents

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Homeowners across the Braintree district – including those in Halstead – are among the top rubbish recyclers in Essex, it has been revealed.

Residents recycled more than 30,000 tonnes of rubbish last year – the third highest in the county, according to information published by Essex County Council.

Recycled items included 14,600 tonnes of paper, plastic, cardboard, cans and glass and more than 17,000 tonnes of green and food waste.

And the district is ranked 15th in the country for recycling 56.1 per cent of its rubbish last year.

The UK’s top recycling councils are Rochford in Essex, south Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse, also in Oxfordshire.

In Babergh, all rubbish for recycling is taken to a centre in Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, where it is separated using a combination of magnets, screens, lasers and hand sorting.

The total percentage of rubbish recycled in Mid Suffolk and Babergh – councils which have integrated their services – was 46 percent.

Chris Fry, head of service for environment, said: “The council continues to prioritise recycling and we would like to thank residents for the continued efforts to maximise the amount of waste that is recycled. This not only saves money but allows scarce resources to be used more effectively and efficiently.”

Babergh saved £286,000 on its waste costs in the last financial year due, in part, to recycling rather than using landfill.

It says its landfill site, which was once a large hole in the ground but is now a large hill, will be full next year, highlighting the need to recycle.

Responsible residents in the Braintree district have been credited with achieving the recycling accolade – but the council says there is no reason why all residents cannot recycle all their rubbish.

“The cost of landfill tax is rising every year, and this has to be met by the taxpayer, so the more that is recycled, the easier it is to keep costs down,” said councillor Robert Mitchell.

“While the figures are positive, we know there are still some residents who recycled less than they could.

“There is no reason why all residents cannot recycle their waste. This is about us all taking more responsibility and changing our habits and lifestyles to make sure that we recycle as much as we possibly can.”