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Councils fail to meet recycling targets, figures show

PUBLISHED: 07:23 18 July 2019

The former Suffolk Coastal District Council ranks among the top 50 best recyclers in the UK, while Tendring in Essex ranks as the worst in the region Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The former Suffolk Coastal District Council ranks among the top 50 best recyclers in the UK, while Tendring in Essex ranks as the worst in the region Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Parts of Suffolk and Essex are failing to meet recycling targets, it has been revealed - with one area ranked amongst the worst in the UK.

Tendring District Council recycled just 27% of its household waste between April 2017 and April 2018 - making it the 22nd least-recycling authority in the UK, the figures from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) showed.

However other parts of the region performed better, with the former Suffolk Coastal District Council exceeding European Union targets by recycling 54% of household waste.

Colchester also recycled 54.8% of household waste, the 37th best nationwide, while Mid Suffolk and Babergh councils recorded a recycling rate of 42.2%.

EU targets say areas should recycle at least half of household waste.

The figures on recycling, collected by DEFRA, come as environmental issues are a hot topic Picture: GETTY IMAGES/iSTOCKPHOTOThe figures on recycling, collected by DEFRA, come as environmental issues are a hot topic Picture: GETTY IMAGES/iSTOCKPHOTO

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A spokesman for Tendring District Council said the authority has been making changes since the data was recorded.

He said: "We are aware of our low recycling rate in comparison to the rest of the east of England, and that is why recycling was a focus of a councillor task and finish group last year."

The council has also seen a "surge" in the number of people requesting recycling boxes, he said.

He added: "In the past seven years we have issued around 30,000 sets, but in the past five weeks we have given out around 10,000 boxes.

"We believe this is a very positive sign of just how much recycling is being taken up by residents who either weren't doing it at all before, or who are upping their game, which can only be a good thing for the environment."

By government definition, household waste not only includes rubbish from people's homes but also street bins, as well as waste from parks.

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