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St Edmundsbury is the top recycler

Residents in St Edmundsbury recycle and compost more than half of the household waste they produce, official new Government figures released today reveal.

Located in the East of England, it has contributed to making the region the most successful at recycling and composting — achieving a rate of 29.8% in 2004/05. The top three authorities for recycling and composting were St Edmundsbury, Forest Heath, and South Cambridgeshire — all situated in the East. These authorities have all comfortably exceeded their 2005/06 targets — the highest of which was 30%.

Broadland and Babergh district council, both in the East, achieved the highest dry recycling rates, which exclude composting. Broadland recycled an impressive 38.3% and Babergh 30.5%.

Local environmental quality minister Ben Bradshaw said: “The local authority and residents of St Edmundsbury and Broadland are showing just what can be done, and is setting and example for the rest of the country to follow.

“Nevertheless it is disappointing that some authorities are not making the kind of progress we all expect.”

It was councils in London and Liverpool who topped the worst recyclers chart. Newham and Tower Hamlets, both in London, failed to reach their targets. Newham had the poorest recycling rate in the country — 6.2%. Tower Hamlets and
Liverpool didn’t fare much better — recycling only 7.4% and 7.6% respectively.

Harborough was the authority that improved the most in a year — it’s recycling and composting rate jumped to 46% in 2004/05 from 14.9% in 2003/04.

Local Government Association environment board chair Councillor David Sparks said: “Councils across the country are making year on year improvements in recycling waste. However, we know that we can continue to improve and will be in active discussions with Margaret Beckett, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to make sure councils can achieve greater levels of recycling.”

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