Kingston reaches new recycling record

Newly released figures show that over 48% (29,200 tonnes) of Kingston’s waste was recycled or composted in 2017-18, a new record for the borough.

The increase from last year’s figure (47%) is mainly due to residents recycling more at home, especially food waste, and throwing less in the rubbish bin as a result. This is great news for the environment and reduces the cost of waste disposal.

Continued improvements to the services offered, such as new wheelie bins for houses that produce more recycling and the re-introduction of a collection for old clothes and shoes, have also helped keep the figures moving in the right direction.

Cllr Hilary Gander, portfolio holder with responsibility for waste services at Kingston Council, said:

 “This would not have been possible without the commitment of our residents - so a big thank you to them. Our next steps are to think about how we can improve these figures and reach our recycling target of 50%.

“Recent analysis shows that although there have been significant improvements over time, we can do more to recycle. Almost a quarter of what is in our rubbish bins is wasted food, which could be recycled using the weekly food collection service. By continuing to reduce the amount of food that doesn’t get eaten and by recycling any remaining cooked and uncooked food, we can save the council money and significantly improve Kingston’s performance.”

Although a wide range of plastic can be recycled, plastic pots, tubs and trays are not always placed in the green box or bin for recycling. Following a decision at Full Council on 17 July, Kingston is looking to lead the way on reducing plastic waste, encouraging the avoidance of single use plastics and other disposal products, as well as campaigning on the damaging effect of plastic waste on the environment.

Improvements to the current service also include a commitment to recycle more of the waste produced by residents ‘on the go’ in the borough, and providing public drinking fountains to promote health and reduce plastic bottle use and litter.