St Albans is top of the national recycling chart

A St Albans food recycling van at the Agrivert recycling plant in Colney Heath. Picture: DANNY LOO

A St Albans food recycling van at the Agrivert recycling plant in Colney Heath. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

There's nothing rubbish about local recycling - in fact were the top in the country!

The annual recycling rate achieved by St Albans district council (SADC) was the best in the whole of England last year.

Newly-compiled figures show the rate for household waste recycling – as measured by weight – rose to 64.2 per cent in 2020/21.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said this was the highest among all of England’s 338 local authorities.

The national average was 42.3 per cent, down from the previous year’s 43.8 per cent with the decrease being blamed on the impact of the pandemic.

It is the eighth year in a row that the district’s rate has increased, which has seen SADC move up the national recycling league table from 189th place in 2012/13,  to fifth last year and now to top position.

Cllr Anthony Rowlands, chair of the council’s Public Realm, said: “This is a magnificent achievement and my thanks go to our residents, who have supported our efforts to recycle as much waste as possible, as well as our waste contractor Veolia and our council officers from the waste management team.

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“Our major priority as acouncil is tackling the climate emergency and improving our environment with recycling helping to achieve those objectives.

“Recycling conserves and reutilises precious resources with the food waste we collect, for example, being processed in a way that produces green energy as well as supplies of organic fertiliser.

“Our recycling rate has been rising steadily in recent years and we will continue to strive for further improvements with the backing of our residents.”

Collections have continued throughout the pandemic despite the challenges of staff absences due to COVID and the national driver shortage.

Cllr Rowlands added: “It is quite remarkable that we have increased the rate despite the many difficulties we have faced maintaining services during the public health emergency.

“Veolia has managed to keep disruption to a minimum and the collective efforts of all concerned have been rewarded with this accolade.

“We are now approaching the height of the festive season when households produce much more waste than usual such as cards, paper, food, bottles and packaging.

“I’d ask them to help us maintain our position as the best recycling local authority in England by ensuring they recycle as much of this waste as possible.”