Recycling rates have hit record-breaking levels in Copeland over the past four months, new figures show.
Copeland Council’s crews collected 102 tonnes of material from residents’ kerbsides during the first week in June, almost doubling the 62.5 tonnes weekly average collected in February.
The volume has been steadily increasing month-on-month with weekly averages of 70.5 tonnes, 88 tonnes and 92 tonnes collected in March, April and May respectively.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “This a truly phenomenal effort – both from our residents in diligently sorting and leaving their recycling out for collection, and also from our crews who have been collecting vast quantities while working under extreme pressure to continue delivering this key service day-in-day-out.”
The weekly average for June surpasses even the Christmas period – ordinarily the busiest period of the year – in terms of volumes collected. A total of 800 tonnes was collected in between March and June.
Mr Starkie added: “We appreciate that we have been living in exceptional circumstances, and more people have been spending time at home, and generating more recycling as a result of ordering online deliveries for example.
“But we hope that the recycling habits that people have started during the crisis will continue when we return to normal, and our rates continue at this level.
“It really is a win-win situation. The council receives cleaned and sorted recycling to be processed, and the income this generates, and residents are doing their bit for their environment.
“Between the three boxes and a bag each household has to contain their recycling, it’s the same volume that can go in your household waste.
“By using our collection service, it means you can save space in your refuse bin and large amounts of materials are now being efficiently recycled, instead of being sent for more expensive and wasteful processing.”
A list of what can and cannot be collected at the kerbside can be found at www.copeland.gov.uk/recycling-and-waste(link is external).
Also at this webpage is a list of recycling sites that can be used by residents who do not receive a kerbside collection (around three per cent), in addition to a list of any delays we are experiencing with collections.
Mr Starkie added: “Dealing with this marked increase in recycling has brought significant challenges, compounded by operational issues that the Covid pandemic is having on the service.
“Our resources, both vehicles and crews, are currently stretched to capacity, and although we endeavour to collect all recycling on its scheduled day, due to factors outside of our direct control, on occasion this is not possible.
“We are aware of where there is uncollected recycling through in-cab technology so there is no need to contact us directly if your recycling has not been collected on its scheduled day.
“Please instead refer to our website as we have a page that advises on delayed collections that indicates when we plan to return. We are prioritising missed collections to be actioned within a three-working day period.
“We thank you for your recycling diligence and patience with our crews who are working tirelessly to collect an unprecedented level of recycling throughout the borough.”