Recycling rates reach a new high

Recycling rates reach a new high

Oxford’s residents are recycling their waste at record levels, despite the limitations created by COVID-19.

The latest figures show that the annual weight of recycled material collected by the City Council’s wholly owned company, ODS, has increased over the last three years from just under 21,658 tonnes to almost 24,065 tonnes.

The recycling rate for all waste collected for 2020/21 is coming up as 53.02 per cent, an increase over last year’s 52.23 per cent. And that’s a massive increase over the figure six years ago, which was just over 46 per cent.

The recycling figures include dry mixed recycling (paper, cardboard, cans and plastics), food waste and garden waste. However rates are starting to level out as Oxford residents become ever more aware of environmental factors. People are buying less and reusing more, which affects the recycling rate. Residents are becoming more environmentally conscious following heightened attention around environmental factors, which is leading to them changing their behaviour.

Around 30 per cent of household waste is still made up from food waste with around 13 per cent more food waste being recycled this year than last.

The Council is also asking residents to be sure they are putting the correct items in the right bin. Around 6.5 per cent of recycled material collected since April 2020 was rejected and incinerated due to having contaminated material in the bin. It may not sound a lot, but the less that is rejected the better. To check that the right item goes in the right bin visit the what goes in each bin webpage.

Garden waste figures are lower this year as COVID forced the collection service to be suspended for a time last year.

Cllr Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Customer Focused Services, said: “Encouraging recycling remains a clear aim of the Council. These figures show that our message is getting across and that Oxford’s residents are enthusiastic recyclers.

“Of course there is always more to do and I know that working together we can recycle even more of our rubbish in the future.

“I want to thank ODS’ collection crews who have done excellent work in collecting rubbish, recycling, food and garden waste despite the limitations placed on us by the COVID regulations.”