With an impressive household recycling rate of 51.5% according to figures for 2005/06 released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) before Christmas, the council was the only one in the country to recycle over 50% of its waste.
Success has been due to operating a three wheeled bin system, the enthusiasm of residents and the simple system in place, said Councillor Dennis Roberts.
The system was developed in conjunction with Mid UK Recycling. This sees one bin used for all dry recyclables such as glass, plastics, cardboard, paper, textiles and metals. A second bin is used for organic and garden waste and a third bin is for residual waste.
Mid UK Recycling managing director Chris Mountain said: From the early stages of developing North Kestevens system we regarded consumer compliance as key to success in household recycling. The more sorting consumers have to do the lower the rate of compliance. This result is testament to this.
Since the council and Mid UK Recycling started working on the scheme four years ago, North Kestevens recycling rate has gone from a single figure to todays level. The recyclables collected go through the companys materials recycling facility, which achieves a 92.5% plus recycling rate.
Mountain added: Innovation is key to future success in recycling, as is partnership with authorities and practical considerations of ease of compliance for all parties.
We have shown that a three-bin system is the best. The lesson is if other councils were to adopt a similar approach they could achieve similar results over a three-year period.