Residents have been thanked for their efforts to recycle after Northamptonshire was named England’s most improved county by an independent environmental consultancy.
The amount of recycling collected across the county in 2016/17 saved an estimated 89 kilograms of carbon emissions per person from being released into the atmosphere (the equivalent of 890 blueberry muffins). This is an improvement of 18kg per person on the 2015/16 performance.
The league table, prepared by Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd, calculates the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that are prevented as a result of local residents’ recycling efforts.
Recycling saves greenhouse gas emissions because it avoids waste being sent to rot in landfill or burned in an incinerator and because it reduces the need for energy-intensive extraction of raw materials.
Cllr Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, said: “We are committed to improving the quality of recycling in East Northants, and we are delighted that resident’s efforts to recycle have been recognised.
“We will continue to work with residents to reduce our household waste and provide high-quality recycling in order to protect the environment.”
Cllr Tim Allebone, Chairman of the Northamptonshire Waste Partnership, said: “Northamptonshire Councils have worked hard to promote and improve their kerbside recycling services, but residents should also be thanked for all the efforts they put into recycling each day.
“We have been focussing on reducing contamination and encouraging participation in food waste collections and this has seen both an increase in recycling and a reduction in the amount of waste going to landfill.
“Increases in the amount of garden waste collected for composting also helped make 2016/17 a great year for Northamptonshire, which has now been recognised.”
The Carbon Index offers an alternative to tonnage-based recycling rates in assessing the performance of councils’ recycling schemes, as the carbon benefit associated with different materials varies greatly.
Eunomia Director Joe Papineschi, who advises councils on how to improve their recycling systems, said: “I’d like to congratulate Northamptonshire their residents on the impressive way in which they’ve leapt up the league table.”
“Recycling has an important contribution to make to the UK’s efforts on climate change, and just looking at recycling rates doesn’t tell you the whole story. Our Recycling Carbon Index helps authorities to see the types of recycling that have the greatest impact, and to identify new opportunities as well as highlighting successes so far. It also helps the public understand the reasons why recycling is so important.”