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Councils encourage everyone to rethink waste

We all need to rethink how we deal with our waste.

That’s the strong message from South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils whose residents have consistently been among the very best recyclers in England for well over a decade.

The two councils are now striving to take things to the next level and are encouraging everyone to rethink their approach to waste.

Part of the big plan is to encourage and enable people to reduce, reuse, repair, refill and rehome items, instead of throwing them away.

The councils have set out the many ways they will move towards a waste service that is de-carbonising, provides value for money and better works with residents to reduce, reuse, repair, refill and rehome. Some of the many ways this could be achieved include:

  • making sure kerbside collections are easy and efficient.
  • continuing to deliver clean public spaces for everyone to enjoy.
  • making it easier to report waste-related issues.
  • listening to local knowledge to improve street cleaning.
  • supporting efforts with community litter picks.
  • signposting information about local events such as repair cafes.

Cllr Sam James-Lawrie, South Oxfordshire District Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “I’m proud of the fact we are the top recycling area in England. This rating is most of all down to the marvellous effort our residents make to recycle – but we know there is much more we can all do to reduce costs, pollute less and protect the planet.

“This is a total community effort, which needs councils, residents, visitors and businesses to all play a part.

“We’ve developed a strategy for how we can rethink waste – to help us all do more to protect our environment and keep it clean for ourselves and future generations.

“We have no plans to make any major changes. However, what we do want to do is support everyone to reduce the amount of waste they produce. We are harking back to the make do and mend ethos so admirably embraced by our parents’ and grandparents’ generations.”

Cllr Mark Coleman, Vale of White Horse Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Waste, said: “We are in an excellent position with our recycling – consistently having been in the top five ranking local authorities for recycling for a number of years now. This is a combination of every member of the community doing their bit and a great deal of good work from the council and its partners.

 “We are now looking to the future and our wider waste strategy to take us into the years to come. As well as doing our bit to improve our service, we want to encourage and enable people to reuse, repair, refill and rehome items, instead of throwing them away. Together we can make the most of what we already have.”

The councils are not currently proposing any major changes in how household waste is collected, other than encouraging people to maximise the value and lifespan they get from their goods.

A report is going to the Joint Scrutiny meeting on 15 July, where the scrutiny committee will consider the draft joint Waste Resources and Street Cleansing strategy and make any comments before a final strategy is presented to Cabinets for decision in September.

View the Joint Scrutiny Report here.