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Defra: More residents recycle waste

The proportion of people in England who say they recycle waste has increased by 20 per cent from two years ago, a new survey suggests.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published a survey entitled 2009 Public attitudes and behaviours towards the environment tracker survey. The study gives a picture of what people in England think, and how they behave, across a range of issues relevant to the environment including recycling and food waste.

A total of 90 per cent of respondents say they recycle items rather than throwing them away, compared with 70 per cent in 2007. A total of 56 per cent of respondents said they did so always, 19 per cent very often and 11 per cent quite often.

Respondents were most likely to report that paper, tins, cans, glass bottles and jars were part of their councils collection. Around three quarters of respondents mentioned cardboard and plastics. There was an increase in the proportion of respondents saying that they could recycle these items outside their homes since 2007, with the exception of paper items which were consistently listed by 94 per cent of respondents in 2007 and 2009.

A Local Government Association spokesman told MRW: The figures show that councils are doing an excellent job over the recent years. They are cooperating with residents over what they can and cannot recycle and this has helped boost recycling rates and help save councils money in the process.

At a time when councils are experiencing a perfect storm of increase for services, alongside a fall in income, more and more will be looking to cut waste going to landfill. There is no one size fits all solution to recycling services but on the whole councils are getting it right.

Seven out of ten people are happy with their recycling collection. It is ultimately up to individual local authorities to provide recycling services that best meet the needs of their local residents.


Other key facts:

  • More than 80 per cent of interviewees said that they were making efforts to waste less food, compared with 63 per cent in 2007;
  • 66 per cent of respondents said they recycled plastic through door-step collection, compared with 47 per cent in 2007;
  • 71 per cent of respondents said they recycled cardboard through door-step collection;
  • 80 per cent of respondents said they recycled tins/cans through door-step collection, compared with 63 per cent in 2007;
  • 76 per cent of respondents said they recycled glass through door-step collection, compared with 59 per cent in 2007; and
  • 43 per cent said they were already composting household food or garden waste.

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