Recycling success for Ashford
Ashford has been named top of the league when it comes to recycling in Kent for the fourth year in a row.
National performance statistics for 2017/18 released by Defra show that Ashford retains its spot at the top of the table for both highest percentage of household waste recycled and composted, and for the lowest residual waste tonnages per household.
The borough's recycling rate has also increased from 55% to 56% - meaning over half of all waste collected is either being recycled or composted.
Nationwide, Ashford is now 27th in the country for recycling – a huge jump up from 35th place last year – and 10th for the amount of residual waste produced per household, which is an incredible achievement.
The statistics show a growth of 1.6% in household waste recycling, exceeding rates from our partner authorities, which can be attributed to a number of factors:
- Residents who are keen to recycle – quite simply, our residents have made it work, and for that we can’t thank them enough.
- Strong contract management – Ashford Borough Council has dedicated staff with an excellent understanding of the contract.
- A sound communication plan – the council has recently engaged our new Education Officer who is revitalising our ongoing communications and education programme and who, along with excellent support from our communications team, is always looking for ways to improve engagement with our residents and help them to help us.
- A simplified recycling strategy – we’ve made it easier for our residents to recycle and provide constant help and advice on how to do it.
Ashford’s garden waste recycling service also continues to grow and now has more than 15,400 customers signed up – growing by nearly 1,000 new customers in the past year.
With 2019 being the Year of the Environment, Ashford Borough Council will be focusing on driving the recycling message even further, and has already begun to build a programme of engaging educational events, activities and workshops that residents can get involved with over the next 12 months.
Of Ashford’s continued recycling success, Cllr Clair Bell, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Land Management, said: “Ashford’s recycling success is certainly something to be proud of and we could not have achieved these fantastic results without our residents’ ongoing support and enthusiasm.
“Ashford residents are doing a tremendous job at recycling, but it is very important that we work hard to maintain, and where possible, improve this level.
“With 2019 being the Year of the Environment we intend to focus on reinforcing the message about recycling further with a strong programme of events, campaigns and initiatives throughout the year to ensure we’re continuing to strive for improvements wherever possible.”
You can listen to our Waste and Recycling Education Officer talk in more detail about Ashford's success with recycling and the reasons behind it in this recent KMFM interview.