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Ashford Borough Council nominated for Public Service Recycler of the Year at National Recycling Awards

What a difference a bin makes!

Ashford Borough Council - once dubbed ‘England’s worst recycler’ - has been shortlisted at the 2015 National Recycling Awards in two categories.

The authority is nominated for Public Service Recycler of the Year, and Local Authority Innovation for their partnership with Swale and Maidstone borough councils, and Kent County Council to form the Mid Kent Waste Partnership.

A bin team on their round in Ashford

A bin team on their round in Ashford

Julie Rogers, ABC’s head of environment and customer service, said: “This announcement shows just how far Ashford has come in such a short space of time.

This announcement shows just how far Ashford has come in such a short space of time." - ABC's Julie Rogers

“We’ve made it simple, residents have made it work.

“We thank them for so enthusiastically embracing the recycling service since it was introduced.

“Being named the most improved authority last year was good news but to have this additional national recognition for all of our recycling efforts is really pleasing.”

Figures released by government department DEFRA last autumn showed that ABC was the most improved local authority for recycling in the country – with recycling rates rising from 12% to 42%.

This followed the introduction of a new recycling service in July 2013, which included alternate week collections of recyclables and residual waste, both in wheeled bins, plus a weekly food waste collection and a paid-for fortnightly garden waste collections.

Although the DEFRA statistics show a 30% increase in recycling they only covered April 2013 to March 2014, therefore including three months of Ashford’s old, and lower-performing, service.

The new service was introduced in July 2013

The new service was introduced in July 2013

Ashford’s waste contractor Biffa however announced that their figures show Ashford achieved an average recycling, reuse and composting, rate of almost 55%, over four times more than the previous year.

ABC say this is likely to be reflected in next year’s DEFRA results.

Mrs Rogers continues: “We have now set our sights on improving our recycling rate further, which would put Ashford among a handful of elite areas in the country.”

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