Council thanks residents for significant rise in recycling

Chichester District Council is thanking residents for helping to increase the district's recycling rate from 39.9% to 43.3% in just six months!

The measurement was taken between March and September of last year.

The council launched a big recycling campaign last year, which was supported by Tesco, Waitrose, Budgens and the Co-op, as well as local media organisations and West Sussex County Council .

During Recycle Week 2016, councillors and officers visited supermarkets in Midhurst, Chichester and Selsey, answering questions on recycling and providing people with information. The council also created a new recycling leaflet, which aimed to make recycling easier and clearer and improved the recycling advice on its website.

The council has also increased its social media activity with helpful recycling advice and messages and created pull out recycling guides within every issue of its initiatives magazine which is delivered to every household and business, three times a year.

A new residents' recycling forum has also been created in order to gather ideas and feedback on how recycling could be made easier. This has already had a very positive effect, with residents making really useful feedback in relation to the campaign and other forthcoming activities.

"We want to say a massive thank you to all of our residents for increasing the amount that they are recycling. We also want to thank everyone who has supported this campaign so far, including our local supermarkets and local media organisations," says Cllr Roger Barrow, Cabinet Member for Contract Services at Chichester District Council.

"We know that people are keen to recycle and that they understand its importance. However, regular reminders on what you can and can't recycle go a long way to reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill. Such a sharp increase in the amount of recycling collected shows that this approach appears to be working. As part of our communications campaign, we also relaunched our garden recycling scheme, which has been going from strength to strength and is adding to the amount that we are recycling.

"This is only the start. We now have an action plan for the year ahead, which is going to involve a number of further activities planned to help local residents recycle more and build upon the work already achieved. By 2020, all areas across the country are expected to be recycling 50% of all waste and so it is vital that we continue working together to reach and exceed this target," adds Roger.

In the next couple of months, selected areas will take part in a bin sticker trial, which aims to provide a prompt for residents, illustrating what they can and can't recycle. The council also hopes to repeat its partnership with local supermarkets during Recycle Week 2017.

"West Sussex County Council has estimated that we are currently throwing away £8 million of recyclable materials countywide and that up to 20% of waste in black bins in our own district could be recycled. This is money that could be invested in local services and so it's important that we all play our part. From the council's point of view, we want to make the process as simple as possible and to make sure that residents have all of the support and information that they need.

"It's the simple things that make a big difference, such as making sure items are separate - including removing lids and tops; not placing plastic bags in the recycling bin; and making sure that your recycling is clean and dry.

"We are all working together to try and increase the level of recycling in the district, and the great effort everyone has put in so far is really working. It is important to keep up this good work and make sure that we are not putting anything into our burgundy bins that can spoil the load, like food, wet items, nappies or plastic bags. Machines sort the recycling items at the Materials Recycling Facility at Ford and so it is really important that recyclable material is clean, dry and loose," adds Roger.

Residents can access more advice and support on our website and by visiting Recycle for West Sussex