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Trial drives increased recycling rates

A 12 month trial of expanded waste collection services in Kingston has so far quadrupled recycling. The council launched the trial in March, in the Berrylands area, to analyse ideas and get residents feedback before the borough-wide waste contract is renewed in September 2008.

Existing fortnightly recycled waste collections were increased to weekly pick ups and residents were given extra containers for organic food and garden waste, and cardboard.

Non-recyclable waste was reduced to fortnightly collections. However, the issue of smelly uncollected food attracting vermin has been avoided because organic waste is collected as part of the weekly recycling collection.

Kingston Council executive member for sustainability and biodiversity councillor Liz Shard explained another reason the council wanted to reduce landfill. Central Government has set councils a target to achieve a 65% reduction in the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill by 2020. Authorities that do not meet 'landfill allowance' targets will be penalised with heavy fines. On top of this, councils also have to pay a Landfill Tax.

[The trial] figures have been facilitated by the improved recycling service on offer, but it is the tremendous effort and support of residents living in the trial area that have achieved them.

Monitors have kept detailed records of the trials progress, which covers 2,500 homes, and this data will be used to design the boroughs future waste plan.

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