Recycling rates have almost doubled in the last eight years – with a 90 per cent drop in the amount of rubbish sent to landfill over the same time period.
In 2006 East Sussex County Council set a raft of targets geared toward improving the recycling rates across the county back as part of a 20 year strategy.
However, in the eight years since the amount of waste being recycled has shot up to the extent the local authority reconvened earlier this week to publish a new set of revised targets.
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Carl Maynard, the authority’s head of environment, said: “We all have a duty to deal with waste in a more sustainable way.
“Since 2006, we have reduced the amount of waste we produce by seven per cent.
“Despite this, the average East Sussex household still creates almost a tonne of waste and recycling each year and in 2013/14 this cost around £155 per household per year. The challenge is to continue to reduce our waste, and to deal with it in an even more sustainable way while making considerable savings.”
The new joint strategy between the county and local borough and district councils sets targets for 2020 of diverting 95 per cent of waste from landfill, recycling and composting 50 per cent of household waste and reusing 15 per cent. It sets a target of recovering energy from at least 95 per cent of rubbish that isn’t reused, recycled or composted.
In 2012/13 39 per cent of the household waste generated was composted or recycled. By 2025 the strategy states that 60 per cent of household waste should be dealt with in this way. Cllr Maynard added: “Working together with our district and borough councils we have achieved and surpassed our targets thanks to new waste facilities and better recycling collections, as well as the commitment of residents. I would urge residents and businesses to continue their good work in reducing, reusing and recycling our waste to help us achieve and exceed these new targets.”
At the end of 2013 a consultation into a draft of the waste strategy was held. Forty per cent of respondents agreed with the broad aims of the strategy, while 31 per cent agreed with the targets.
The closure of three household waste sites was included in the original draft strategy. The county council’s cabinet agreed in January that these three sites should remain open from Friday to Sunday each week.