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Latest Defra league tables show Ashford Borough Council as most improved local authority in the country for recycling

Ashford's council have been named the most improved local authority in the country for recycling. 

The borough council are at the top of the latest Defra league tables, which were released this week.

The body, who were referred to as ‘England’s worst recycler’ in 2011/12, recorded a 42% recycling rate for 2013/14, improving their rates by 30% .

Cllr Jessamy Blanford

Cllr Jessamy Blanford

Cllr Jessamy Blanford, Ashford Borough Council’s (ABC) portfolio holder for the environment, said: “This is extremely encouraging news.

"We have been delighted with how enthusiastic our residents have been about recycling since the new service and wheeled bins were introduced.

"To see figures continuing to climb after the initial excitement has died down is wonderful news for our borough."

ABC introduced the new refuse and recycling service in July 2013, and delivered four wheelie bins to the majority of homes across the borough. 

Ashford has been named the most improved recycler in the country

Ashford has been named the most improved recycler in the country

Now, residents have the ability to recycle a wider range of materials including food, paper and, for a fee, garden waste.

Cllr Blanford added: "Obviously the current figures are helped by the amount of seasonal garden recycling being collected in the summer months, but that in itself is good news as we are equally pleased to see so many people taking up this optional service.

“The latest figures also indicated that people are getting more comfortable with recycling, as the amount of non-recyclable material rejected at the recycling plant has also dropped, meaning fewer people are putting the wrong items into their green bins.”

The Defra statistics cover April 2013 to March 2014, and therefore include three months of Ashford’s old service and the lower recycling performance of that service.

Last month Biffa announced that their figures, which cover the first full year of an extensively-revised recycling and refuse collection service, saw the borough quadruple its recycling performance.

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