Dorset ranked among top in the country for recycling, thanks to the pandemic lockdowns

recyclingDORSET Council’s recycling rate hit a record high in 2021, according to recent figures published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The increase in household recycling is thought to be largely down to the coronavirus pandemic.

For the 2020/21 fiscal year, the latest DEFRA data shows that the amount of waste that Dorset Council sent for recycling, reuse or composting increased from 58.9% to 60.1%.

Out of more than 330 councils nationwide, this places Dorset Council as the eighth best performing council in England, and the third top performing unitary council.

Waste service officers have pointed out that much of the rise is due to an increased waste capture rate – how much recyclable material is going into recycling bins – due to last year’s pandemic lockdowns. More people at home obviously resulted in more waste being collected at the kerbside.

But Dorset residents have once again proven to be excellent at putting the right stuff in the right bin, when otherwise it might have ended up as un-recycled commercial waste or in street litter bins if many people had continued going to their place of work, as before.

The lifting of lockdown restrictions this year and continuing pandemic-related challenges, such as the HGV driver shortage, will likely impact next year’s results, but the fact remains that the Recycle for Dorset kerbside collection scheme continues to be a huge success for the county.

And with waste and recycling playing a key part in Dorset Council’s strategy to tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergency, it’s more important than ever that we all continue working together to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Customer and Community Services, said: “This is a phenomenal achievement considering the size and rurality of our county.

“The entire Waste Services team has been working hard over the last ten years, since the rollout of the kerbside Recycle for Dorset collection service, to get this far.

“I want to thank all our Waste Services employees, both front-line and office-based, for everything they do; Keep up the good work.

“Most of all, I want to give a big thank you to the Dorset residents who, once again, have shown themselves to be amongst the best recyclers in England. Your efforts to put the right stuff in the right bin not only help protect the environment but have saved millions of pounds that we can put towards other essential services.

“This success proves we have the right systems in place, so we now need to continue addressing the challenges presented by the pandemic and focus on making the service even more efficient to push us even further up the leader board.”

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