St Edmundsbury tops recycling table

PEOPLE living in West Suffolk recycle more waste than anywhere else in the country, Government figures have revealed.Residents in the east of England have been praised for their “outstanding” efforts in recycling rubbish, with rates comparable to those on the continent.

PEOPLE living in West Suffolk recycle more waste than anywhere else in the country, Government figures have revealed.

Residents in the east of England have been praised for their “outstanding” efforts in recycling rubbish, with rates comparable to those on the continent.

The statistics, released by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), show just over half of household waste belonging to people in Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding area is recycled and composted.

And other areas in the region were not far behind, with Forest Heath recycling 48.6% of its waste, and Babergh having one of the highest rates of dry recycling in the country.


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The findings from Defra, which include detailed recycling and composting rates for every local authority in the country in 2004-5, placed residents in Liverpool and Tower Hamlets in London as the worst in the country, with just 7.6% and 7.4% of waste being recycled.

As well as highlighting the performance of individual authorities, the figures confirm that people in England recycled and composted nearly 23% of their waste, which means the country is on course to reach its target to put a quarter of the contents of dustbins to better use by 2005-6.

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Local Environmental Quality Minister, Ben Bradshaw, said: “The rate of progress in the East of England in general is outstanding - and all the more impressive given that in England we have traditionally relied on landfill, which has left us some way behind our European neighbours in the amounts we recycle.

“However, the local authority and residents of St Edmundsbury are showing just what can be done and are setting an 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.

“People really want to recycle but we must make it easy for them. Local authorities therefore have to work even harder to make that happen and help our budding recycling culture to continue to flourish.”

Jeremy Farthing, portfolio holder for environment at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said he was delighted to have the figures confirmed, showing the district as the best in the country.

“Two factors have made this possible. Firstly, the willingness of the public to embrace the scheme, and secondly, our partnership with other local authorities,” he said.

“As a nation we are lagging behind, but we now hope we can start to lead the way.”

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