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Guernsey tops global charts for recycling rate

Guernsey tops global charts for recycling rate

Monday 29 June 2020

Guernsey tops global charts for recycling rate

Guernsey's recycling rate is now one of the highest in the world, at 73% of all household waste, while the amount we throw in black bin sacks has more than halved over the past three years.

Many island households have become significantly more efficient since the new waste strategy came into force, encouraging island residents to recycle or compost their rubbish by introducing 'pay as you throw' charges for black bin sacks.

As a result, the recycling rate has risen from 50% in 2017 - the last full year before the changes.


Pictured: The statistics show how much recycling rates have gone up in recent years.

The changes have also helped Guernsey Waste hit its target of 70% recycling by 2030 in its first year of operation.

According to the most recently published equivalent figures, the rate would put the island ahead of Germany, which had the highest 'municipal waste' recycling rate of any EU country in 2018, at 67.3%.

Of the other 26 member states, only seven reported more than 50%.


Pictured: More households in Guernsey have been encouraged to recycle since the changes came into place.

"This is a phenomenal achievement and it is down to the effort and commitment that islanders have shown in the way they manage their waste," said States Trading Assets Deputy Managing Director, Richard Evans.

"Over the past two years, we have introduced new services to help households recycle more, and a new way of charging to provide some extra incentive to reduce waste. The response has been amazing and we now have one of the highest recycling rates anywhere in the world - if not the highest."

Last year, more than 16,600 tonnes of Guernsey's household waste was either recycled or composted - an increase of nearly a third since 2017.

The separate caddies for food waste - introduced in 2018 - made the biggest difference, with around 3,115 tonnes of food collected and sent to the UK for processing.


Pictured: States Trading Assets Deputy Managing Director, Richard Evans.

Meanwhile, the total amount of overall household waste has dropped by more than 11% since 2017, despite the amount of material collected in blue and clear kerbside bags rising by more than half.

"We would like to thank everyone," added Mr Evans. "The team at Guernsey Waste has done a fantastic job, as have all the parishes and the various waste contractors.

"We made some really fundamental changes which, at times, has not been easy. We may not always have got everything 100% right, but we have been trying and we are now seeing the benefit. To exceed our target in the very first year is incredible and something we should all be very proud of."

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