The 4th edition of our Recycling Carbon Index shows that the CO2 emissions savings from local authorities’ waste and recycling services in 2014/15.
Tthe leading carbon savers are Cheshire West and Chester Council, whose high recycling rate and source separated collection system (which minimises the need for energy-intensive sorting of recyclable material) meant the council achieved a saving of 109kg per person.
Other leading authorities in England were Dorset Waste Partnership, Surrey and Buckinghamshire. In Wales, Ceredigion, Powys and Monmouthshire took the pole positions and in Northern Ireland, Omagh, Larne and Dungannon & South Tyrone are leading the way. Middlesbrough Council took the ‘biggest improver’ title after introducing a new collection system in 2014.
Across the board, the total CO2 saving is up over 20,000 tonnes from 2013/14, but the picture across the three nations is mixed. Wales maintains a significant lead over its neighbours, and 64% of Welsh councils improved their performance in 2014/15. The Welsh Government has focused on trying to improve recycling rates, and to harmonise how waste is collected across the country. Its efforts have returned some pretty impressive results, with no authorities in Wales now ranked as ‘Poor Performers’. The average CO2 saving from recycling in Wales is now 84kg per person.
Northern Ireland’s performance was the most improved, up 4.5% year on year. 77% of Northern Irish councils showed an upward trend and the total CO2 saving was 123,000 tonnes, or 68kg per capita. That enabled Northern Ireland to overtake England where just less than half of councils improved on the previous year’s results – but a similar number slipped back, leaving the CO2 savings at 67kg per capita.
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