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Cambridgeshire breaks 50% mark

Local authorities in the UK have been shown the way forward with Cambridgeshire one of the first to recycle over half of its waste.

The 51% rate achieved between April and June 2006 is thought to be the highest level recorded by any county in the country and means that in the area; more waste is now being recycled than is being sent to landfill.

Figures have climbed from 31% in 2003 to 37.8% in 2004 and then 43.5% in 2005. With the average in England just 23%, there is much for the area to celebrate. Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) cabinet member for environment and community services John Reynolds pertained to this.

He said: Wed like to thank Cambridgeshire residents for their great efforts to keep waste out of the ground. It is clear that we are keen recyclers and it is for this reason that we are leading the way in the UK.

We and our partners are continually looking for innovative ways to improve recycling and we share the Governments concerns that more needs to be done nationally to reduce the amount of waste being needlessly dumped in landfill.

The combined county, district and city councils have already been awarded Beacon council status for their excellence in waste management while they continue to bring in new initiatives such as the recent additions of plastic bottle and plasterboard recycling facilities at various sites.

A waste prevention campaign has also been launched by the council and its partners to reduce the amount of waste produced in the first place with 55,258 of the 108,477 tonnes of household waste created in Cambridgeshire now recycled.

Reynolds added: The costs of landfilling waste are rising every year, with the landfill tax running at £18/tonne and due to increase by £3/tonne per year.

Last year the County Council had to spend over £7.3 million dumping waste in landfills- £771,000 of that in Government taxes. This is why recycling is so important.

While the whole county has excelled, Huntingdonshire leads the way after returning a rate of 55%.
The first local authority to beat the 50% mark is St Edmundsbury which returned a level of 50.64% in figures released during January.

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