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Ashfield Council hits the highs after seeing the lows

Spurred into action after the bad press, the council implemented a paper and card recycling scheme and met the statutory 8% recycling rate for 2003/04.

In June 2003 the council started the first phase of its twin bin scheme, where an extra green wheelie bin for dry recycling waste was introduced to households, and collected on a fortnightly basis. Weekly collections are therefore alternated between dry recycled goods and other household waste. The scheme was rolled-out over 18 months and in March 2005 became district-wide. A similar glass collection scheme was rolled-out in parallel to the twin bin scheme, with glass collections every four weeks.

Ashfield recycling project manager Edd de Coverly is a consultant from DECO Environmental Solutions. He said: "We are really pleased with our achievements which are a testament to all the people of Ashfield from the council officers to the men who make the collections."

The scheme received a lot of local press coverage, and was accompanied by a publicity campaign to ensure that people knew what it was about. The council has been keen to gauge the impact of the scheme and receive feedback throughout, developing questionnaires in conjunction with the University of Nottingham Business School. 8,500 residents completed the most extensive questionnaire. Of these, 80% rated the scheme as good or excellent.

Ashfield is now trialling a garden waste collection scheme, and is also looking at bulky waste collection and commercial recycling.

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