Residents thanked as Royal Borough sees extra recycling after revised waste collections

Recycling bin. Increase in borough's recycling rate. Creating a sustainable borough of opportunity and innovation

The Royal Borough has seen an increase in its recycling rate following the switch to fortnightly waste collections for black bins, while maintaining weekly collections for recycling and food waste. 

The council would like to thank residents for their efforts in supporting the revised collection regime after figures showed they are choosing to dispose of less in their black waste bins, and recycle more of what they throw away. Based on the tonnages of material collected, the recycling rate for 2021/22 was 55.7%, compared to a rate of 51% for the 2020/21 financial year, and 45% in 2019/20.

There has been a significant decrease in the amount of waste being disposed of in refuse bins, with 23,303 tonnes collected in 2021/22, compared to 28,497 the previous year - a decrease of 18% - and 28,898 tonnes in 2019/20. 

Food waste recycling collected increased from 2,548 tonnes in 2020/21 to 4,664 tonnes in 2021/22 – an increase of 83% - and from 2,481 tonnes in 2019/20. The amount of recycling collected has increased by 2% since 2020/21, but increased by more than 13% between 2019/20 and 2020/21. The latest figures show that this significant increase over the last two years has been maintained.

The council launched its revised waste collection regime in October to drive an increase in recycling rates in the borough and decrease the volume of waste produced and is calling on residents to help increase its recycling rate to at least 65%.

This contributes to the council’s Environment and Climate Strategy, which includes a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.

The council collects refuse on a fortnightly basis for the majority of properties, which is the approach for residual waste followed successfully by most councils, while maintaining weekly collections of recycling and food waste to encourage residents to place a greater emphasis on recycling of waste.

Councillor David Coppinger, cabinet member for environmental services, said: “These figures are great news and justifies our decision to switch to fortnightly waste collections in October and I’d like to thank our residents for embracing this change. It is only through your efforts that we have achieved such an impressive set of figures just six months into the new regime. Please keep up the good work as we are already seeing the benefits.

“There is a great deal of support locally for reducing our impact on the climate and environment and the support from our residents for this revised regime really shows how much people want to play their part and help. The figures show that food waste is being recycled instead of being put into black bins and the higher levels of recycling during the pandemic are being maintained even though restrictions have ended.

“It is important that we all do what we can to reduce the impact we have on the environment and slow climate change. Recycling as much as we can is an easy way we can all make a difference. The switch to fortnightly waste collections was made in mid-October, so we are only seeing less than half a year in terms of the impact of the change. I look forward to seeing the figures at the end of this financial year when we will have the data from a full financial year under the revised regime.”

For more information on the council’s waste and recycling service, including ordering a new bin or finding your collection day, please visit