The annual local authority recycling League Champion award for England could be heading south to Three Rivers district council in Hertfordshire next month.
Provisional recycling statistics for the 2019/20 financial year, compiled by letsrecycle.com, suggest that Three Rivers district council will be the highest performing authority in England with a Recycling, Reuse and Composting rate of 64.1%.
The 1.1% jump from the previous year will see the authority surpass the reigning champions, East Riding of Yorkshire (see letsrecycle.com story), which saw its rate fall from 64.8% in 2018/19 to 63.3% for 2019/20 which will place it in third place.
Official government figures for recycling in England have been twice delayed and are now due to be published in March by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
However, collating data from the top recycling local authorities from previous years, the picture so far for 2019/20 sees Three Rivers – which is in south west Hertfordshire and includes the town of Rickmansworth – narrowly ahead of South Oxfordshire district council which recorded 63.95%. South Oxfordshire was also second in 2018/19.
The Top 10 table below is using statistics submitted to Defra via WasteDataFlow and also reported by councils, and is subject to verification.
(above) Research by letsrecycle.com indicates that Three Rivers could be the top recycling council in England for 2019/20
Speaking with letsrecycle.com, Cllr Phil Williams, lead member for environmental services and sustainability at Three Rivers council, said despite being pleased with the results the authority would await Defra confirmation of the figures before any celebrations.
“Wherever we come in the final table, we are incredibly proud of the whole team at Three Rivers.”
However, Cllr Williams said: “Three Rivers District Council is very pleased to hear that we could have the highest recycling rate in the country for 2019/20, although we await the final figures from Defra before we really celebrate! However, wherever we come in the final table, we are incredibly proud of the whole team at Three Rivers and are pleased our recycling rate is up from the previous year.”
He added: “Our collection crews and back office staff work tirelessly to ensure we run an excellent service and we strive to continue to minimise waste and increase reuse and recycling. I’d like to thank all involved in this achievement, including the residents of Three Rivers.”
In terms of national figures for England, the overall rate is expected to rise, potentially by around 1%. However, the year 2019/20 only included two weeks of the Covid lockdown and figures for 2020/21 are expected to show a fall in recycling rates due to the pandemic.
(Historic league tables for England can be seen on letsrecycle.com HERE.)