North Somerset tops ‘high flyer’ recycling chart

North Somerset has been named the top performing council for reducing its carbon emissions by providing strong recycling services, according to new research by Eunomia.

The consultancy has developed a new ‘Local Authority Recycling Index’ as an alternative measure of the environmental performance of councils’ waste and recycling services.

According to Eunomia, the measure “is more sophisticated than a simple ‘recycling percentage’”.

The index shows the kilograms of CO2 equivalent saved per person by each authority’s dry recycling services.

North Somerset saved 112kg of C02 per person. Other top-performers in the table include Cumbria (96kg of CO2/resident) and Solihull (94kg of CO2/resident).

Meanwhile at the other end of the scale, Tower Hamlets was the poorest performer (20kg of CO2/resident), followed by the London Boroughs of Brent (25kg of CO2/resident) and Hackney (26kg of CO2/resident).

According to the research, poor performers have mixed garden and food waste collections, have very low textile and metal recovery and poor HWRC performance.

Eunomia director James Fulford told edie: “North Somerset has a good range of services and they collect a wide range of materials. They also recover large amounts of food from separate food waste collections and recover large amounts of dry recycling from household waste recycling centres.”

If every UK authority’s recycling scheme performed as well as North Somerset every year the UK would save 6.72m tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of taking 2.2m cars off the road, according to Eunomia.

Fulford added: “Generally councils have had to rely on a crude comparison of recycling rates to measure the performance of their services. By publishing the Recycling Carbon Index we hope that we will help authorities to better understand the carbon benefits that their services achieve.

“The report will also help waste managers to understand what they need to do if they want to improve the environmental performance of their own services.”

Liz Gyekye


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