Richard Willis's Blog

First for local news and first for comment

Berkshire Recycling Record is Mixed

Every year DEFRA publishes statistics on local authority recycling rates. For a long time Reading has had a comparatively poor record compared with other authorities locally and nationally, and the new Conservative/ Lib Dem coalition administration is working to improve the situation.

Last month DEFRA issued its data for 2009/10 and once again Reading was near the bottom of the local table:

West Berkshire – 40.2% (08/09-33.69%)
Wokingham – 38.36% (08/09-36.57%)
Bracknell Forest – 37.83% (08/09-40.3%)
Windsor & Maid – 34.37% (08/09-35.98%)
Reading – 33.4% (08/09-34.44%)
Slough – 30.91% (08/09-25.41%)

So not only was Reading second from the bottom in 2009/10 under Labour but the rate actually got slightly worse! Compare that with our immediate neighbour to the north:

South Oxfordshire – 61.41% (08/09-42.44%)

Not only did South Oxfordshire manage a good rate of recycling in 2008/09 but they became one of the biggest improvers in 2009/10 with one of the best rates in the country. Reading has a very long way to go to match that performance.

The new Environment Lead Cllr Warren Swaine is passionate about improving the range of materials that can be collected for recycling and will shortly be announcing some ideas for achieving this. I am therefore confident that the 2010/11 stats will show a marked improvement in Reading’s performance with the benefit for local tax payers that less will have to go to land-fill and therefore less will be paid in Land-Fill Tax by the authority.


December 7, 2010 - Posted by | Local


  1. Rural authorities always do better. Mainly due to composting schemes, as there is more compost to be collected in the countryside.

    Comment by Jonny | December 8, 2010 | Reply

  2. The Wokingham recycling rate is open to question. Black bag waste (including glass) is landfilled. With SITA taking it to who knows where and mixing it with who knows how much of their commercially collected waste this claim is suspect.

    Comment by Gideon Mack | December 8, 2010 | Reply

  3. What would be more interesting is the level of contamination within the recycling schemes. Also what each area can recycle, the only way to reduce landfil is to recycle more and more waste streams.

    Comment by WasteAccountant | December 8, 2010 | Reply

    • There are two alternatives: 1. you collect co-mingled recyclables and sort at a MRF or 2. you segregate at source.

      Option 2 achieves the best results but requires loads of bins which annoys the public.

      Comment by Gideon Mack | December 9, 2010 | Reply

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