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East Cambridgeshire celebrates recycling rise

East Cambridgeshire District Council has reported a double-digit rise in recycling rates after using part of the Government ‘bin funds’ to retain weekly collections.

The council successfully bid for £5m funding from community secretary Eric Pickles’ £250m Weekly Collection Support Scheme to carry on collecting waste on a weekly basis in 2013 and introduce wheeled bins.

Since then, recycling rates have jumped from 34% to 46% and are predicted to hit 54% in 2015.

Anna Bailey

Anna Bailey

Under the new system, residents recycled an additional 2,147 tonnes of recyclables and 1,475 tonnes of food and garden waste compared to the previous year.

Cllr Anna Bailey (pictured), chair of regulatory and support services committee at the council, said: “The increase in the recycling levels across East Cambridgeshire over the last year has been nothing short of outstanding.

“Across the district, we have seen how residents have embraced the new wheeled bin service and have drastically reduced the amount of waste which is ending up in landfill. We should all be very proud of such an achievement and for making such rapid progress in such a short period of time.”

The funding scheme to allow councils to revert to weekly collections caused controversy when it was launched in 2012. MRW research from freedom of information requests to every council in England revealed that only one, Stoke on Trent, had bid for cash to fund a return from fortnightly to weekly collections.

The scheme was described as a “bribe” by former WRAP official Phillip Ward.

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