Lockdown bin weights soar but people are recycling more

The weight of waste and recycling produced by Cherwell residents has increased by the equivalent of 100 double decker buses (1,870 tonnes) during lockdown.

Published: Tuesday, 9th June 2020

Cherwell District Council has maintained all of its kerbside bin collection services throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The council thanks residents for putting the right thing in the right bin as recycling rates increased by 1.2 per cent to 59.7 per cent.

The brown bin saw the biggest weight increase in comparison to the same period last year, with 850 tonnes more collected, a 19 per cent increase. On 7 May Cherwell registered a record for the most food and garden waste ever collected in a day, 190 tonnes. Glass recycling saw the biggest percentage increase, up 50 per cent (270 tonnes). Refuse was up 13 per cent (600 tonnes) and dry recycling up 9 per cent (150 tonnes).

Cllr Dan Sames, Cherwell’s lead member for clean and green, said: “Like other local residents I am hugely grateful for the efforts of the council waste and recycling crews, who have gone above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic. As well as working in more challenging circumstances, they have been dealing with the huge increase in refuse that we have been generating during the lockdown.

“The increase in food and glass recycling both reflect the fact that bars and restaurants have been closed, prompting people to cook more at home. However, the increased amount of time people have been spending in their gardens was the biggest factor behind the brown bin weighing so much more.

“The overall increase in the recycling rate is good news for the district and the environment. We are really grateful to everyone who takes the time to sort their waste and put the right thing in the right bin.”

The figures are for the quantities produced during April and May and the overall recycling rate was shaped in part by the increase in garden waste.

To help people make the most of their food budget and to cut food waste, the council recommends Love Food Hate Waste’s food storage tips and portion planner.

Anyone who is not sure which bin to put commonly-confused materials in can look it up on Oxfordshire County Council’s Waste Wizard search tool.