Recycling bins

Innovative thinking leads to top recycling rate for Three Rivers Council

Innovative thinking by Three Rivers District Council in Hertfordshire, including running a free home textiles collection service, has seen the area rank as the highest performing authority in England for household recycling, reuse and composting.

Three Rivers recorded a rate of 64.1% for the amount of household waste recycled, composted or reused in 2019/20 in figures published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which was up 1.1% compared to 2018/19.

The textiles collection service allows people to recycle clothes, paired shoes, belts, handbags, curtains, towels and bed linen.

As well as this, the council also encourage people to think about other items they can recycle by using information at the Recycle Now and WasteAware Hertfordshire Partnership websites. 

Three Rivers District Council’s Lead Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, Councillor Phil Williams said that the council’s success was the result of its waste collection crews and staff working tirelessly to ensure bins are collected, avoiding contamination and ensuring residents have the knowledge to recycle everything they can. 

He said: “We are incredibly proud of our record as the top recycling authority in the whole of England. We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our residents who continue to reuse, compost and recycle. 

“Awareness is really growing among our residents of plastic waste, food waste, consumption and their impact on the planet. People understand that waste prevention, as well as reusing and recycling is more important than ever.

“Recycling means materials can be used for longer and reduces the amount of waste going to incineration or landfill, while composting garden and food waste also helps generate clean energy and fertiliser for local fields, while reducing methane released in landfill.

“As a council, we declared a climate emergency in 2019 and have recently consulted with residents and stakeholders on our new Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy, which is currently going through approval. The strategy sets out aims and objectives to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 for council operations and 2045 for the district.”

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