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North Shropshire sees recycling rates jump to European levels

North Shropshire has seen its recycling rate soar from 29% to 53% - in just two weeks. The rapid improvement was due to a new kerbside collection scheme implemented district-wide on September 5.

Prior to the new scheme residual waste was collected from households on a weekly basis, with green waste collected fortnightly. The new regime brought in a fortnightly collection for dry recyclables (glass, paper and cans) and an alternate weekly collection for green and food waste, and residual waste.

Funding of around £370,000 received from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) put the new system into action, going mainly towards vehicles and collection boxes.

Defra-appointed project manager Paul Deacon said: "The scheme was brought in with a big bang across 100% of the households in the district and the feedback from residents has been really good."

In the lead-up to the launch households were provided with two 55-litre boxes for their dry recyclables. A publicity campaign including road shows and leaflet drops was also conducted.

Deacon said the alternate weekly collection had been a key factor to the success of the scheme by forcing residents to reduce the amount of waste put in residual waste bins and fill the dry recyclable boxes and green waste bins instead.

The council hoped for a recycling rate of 40% so was delighted with the results. It is now looking at plastic bottle collections, which could push the recycling rate up even more.

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