Friendly rivalry and peer pressure among councils in Oxfordshire have helped the county to achieve a 40% recycling rate, according to Oxford City Council councillor John Tanner.
Tanner is also the chairman of Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (OWP), a partnership of six councils within the county, which works to reduce waste and increase recycling. The new recycling figures feature in the OWPs first annual report
Peer pressure among councils has helped them to improve their performance, said Tanner.
As a council you are constantly looking over your shoulder. For instance, if Banbury can do one thing well, another town may follow it is friendly rivalry.
In addition to peer pressure from neighbouring councils, financial pressure from the Government and the electorate demanding more recycling have also been factors in pushing up our recycling rates.
The OWP comprises Cherwell District Council, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District council and West Oxfordshire District Council.
Tanner added that alternate weekly collections (AWCs) have also helped the county to reach its 40% recycling rate. He said that Oxford City Council has seen its recycling rate double since the introduction of AWCs two years ago.
We will look back in five years time and wonder why we only recycled 40% because we will be at 80% by then and throwing away half as much waste, said Tanner.
Image: Cllr John Tanner