ASHFORD ACHIEVES RECYCLING RATE ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE
Residents in Ashford have been praised for their efforts to recycle household waste after achieving a recycling rate above the national target of 50%.
The latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) reveal that Ashford Borough Council has become the country’s most improved recycling authority, with 53.1% of the borough’s household waste being sent for re-use, recycling or composting in 2015/16.
A far cry from its rate of 14% in 2011/12, which saw the borough branded the worst place in the country for recycling rates. It’s current rate, however, is more than 10% above the national average of 40% and the overall figure for Ashford (53.1%) places the borough 44th in the country, 14th in the South East and 1st in Kent.
Last year, Ashford Borough Council launched a crackdown on contamination, pleading with residents to only place recyclable materials in their recycling bins after an increase in the number of waste loads being rejected. Given their current recycling rate, the issue has clearly been resolved since then.
In fact, since 2013/14, Ashford is the most improved area in Kent, increasing its recycling rate by 11.2%.
Cllr Clair Bell, Portfolio holder for borough presentation at Ashford Borough Council said: “Ashford residents are doing a tremendous job at recycling and recent figures have placed us top in Kent. But it is important we work hard to maintain, and where possible, improve this level.”
“We hope targets communications will help our residents receive relevant information and advice so they understand how to recycle smart and help the borough continues with its excellent recycling progress made so far.”
Tracey Butler, Head of Environmental & Landscape Management Services said: “It is excellent to see Ashford’s recycling rates remain strong. This has been achieved by the enthusiasm and committed efforts of our residents and we would like to thank everyone for continuing to support our recycling service.”
Also faring well are Maidstone Borough Council (47.8%), Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (45.6%) and Shepway District Council (44%).
The same cannot be said for Dartford which is one of just seven so-called ‘red zones’ with recycling rates under 30% in the South East, and Canterbury which has seen recycling rates fall by 5.3% from 48.5% to 43.2%.
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