Recycling rate tops 30% for first time
Residents in the Mansfield district are now recycling more than 30% of their rubbish - seven times more than just five years ago.
It is the first time the rate has passed the milestone 30% mark, having reached 27% in 2006/07 and should be even higher when year-end figures are calculated at the beginning of April.
Councillors agreed to fund the extension of the brown bin garden waste recycling scheme to an extra 10,000 homes at a budget-setting meeting last week, bringing the number of properties included to over 34,000 - 74% of homes in the district.
As a result, Mansfield District Council is on course to hit its 40% recycling target by 2010. Councils not hitting their target face hefty European Union fines, with council tax payers in those areas expected to bear the brunt.
Reaching the 30% milestone represents a massive turnaround in the area's recycling performance. When doorstep recycling collections were first introduced in parts of the district in 2002/03, the recycling rate was just 4.5%.
Now, more than 20% of all rubbish generated by households in the Mansfield district goes into the blue recycling bins and is sent to a sorting plant before being recycled into new tins, bottles, cardboard, etc.
Brown bin garden refuse, which now accounts for over 10% of all waste collected by the council, is composted and used on local agricultural land.
Coun Eddie Smith, Portfolio Holder for the Environment at Mansfield District Council said: "Reaching a 30% recycling rate seemed unthinkable just a few years ago and the whole district should be proud about how far we have come in such a short space of time.
"Sorting our rubbish for different bins did seem a bit daunting at first but I think it has now become second-nature for the vast majority of people as the recycling figures and high satisfaction rating for the 'twin bin' system show in the recent Great waste Debate survey.
"We can all always do more though. As well as recycling at home, I would urge people to use the recycling sites throughout the district for items like bottles and textiles."