1 April 2021 by Robyn White

Oxford council says recycling increased in 2020/21

Oxford city council has said it has seen an increase in its recycling rate over the course of the pandemic. 

It revealed its latest figures which it says show that Oxford achieved a recycling rate of 53.02% 2020/21, up from 52.23% the previous year.

Oxford achieved a recycling rate of 53.02% in the year 2020/21

The council said that this is a “massive increase” on the figure six years ago, which was just over 46%.

It added that the annual weight of recycled material collected by the city councils in-house company, ODS, has increased over the last three years from just under 21,658 tonnes to almost 24,065 tonnes.

The council said that the figures show recycling to be at “record levels”, despite the “limitations created by the pandemic”.

Garden waste figures are reported to be lower than usual however, as Covid forced the collection service to be suspended for a time last year.

‘Enthusiastic recyclers’

Cllr Nigel Chapman, cabinet member for customer focused services said: “Encouraging recycling remains a clear aim of the council. These figures show that our message is getting across and that Oxford’s residents are enthusiastic recyclers.”

“Of course there is always more to do and I know that working together we can recycle even more of our rubbish in the future.”

“I want to thank ODS’ collection crews who have done excellent work in collecting rubbish, recycling, food and garden waste despite the limitations placed on us by the COVID regulations.”

‘Level out’

The recycling figures include dry mixed recycling (paper, cardboard, cans and plastics), food waste and garden waste.

The council reported that rates are starting to “level out” as residents are buying less and reusing more, which affects the recycling rate. It added that residents are becoming “more environmentally conscious” following heightened attention around environmental factors, which is leading to behaviour changes.

Around 30% of household waste is still made up from food waste with around 13% more food waste being recycled this year than last. The council is also asking residents to be sure they are putting the correct items in the right bin.

Around 6.5% of recycled material collected since April 2020 was rejected and incinerated due to having contaminated material in the bin.

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