Cheshire West and Chester leads the way for carbon reduction from recycling

Eunomia’s measure for environmental performance of councils across the UK has revealed that Cheshire West and Chester has saved a total of 120kg of CO2 per person in 2018/19, the highest amount in the UK. This figure was up from 107kg in 2017/18

The Recycling Carbon Index, which is this year in its eighth edition, provides UK councils with a measure of the environmental performance of their waste and recycling services, based on the carbon emissions and recycling rates of each council. The final figure represents the number of kilogrammes of carbon saved per person in that council.

Household Waste Recycling Centre sign at Ellesmere PortCheshire West and Chester just placed ahead of last year’s winner, Welsh local authority Merthyr Tydfil, which saved 119kg of CO2 per capita in 2017/18.

Other councils placed by Eunomia in the ‘High Flyers’ category for 2018/19 were Bexley, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Somerset and North Somerset.

However, despite the success of these councils, England’s overall performance still fell behind those of Northern Ireland and Wales, with England saving carbon emissions of 69kg per capita, compared to Northern Ireland’s 82.2kg and Wales’s 93.6kg.

Eunomia attributes Cheshire West and Chester’s significantly improved environmental performance to a 3 per cent increase in kerbside collected recycling tonnage, with more than half of the additional material being dry recycling. A small decrease in paper and card recycling was ‘more than offset’ in carbon savings from an increase in plastic and cans.

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Many congratulations to the recycling team, this is not the first time they have achieved the top spot as overall winners for England, Northern Ireland and Wales, I’m delighted they have done it again.

“We are only achieving such high recycling figures because residents are continuing to support recycling across the borough. By separating our waste at source, it’s paid dividends by producing carbon savings.”

Peter Jones, a Principal Consultant at Eunomia, added: “Cheshire West and Chester has consistently been one of the Carbon Index’s High Flyers, and I’m delighted to see the council rise to the top of this year’s league table.

"As authorities become increasingly focused on how they can achieve net-zero targets, I expect attention to be directed to how their waste management services can contribute. I hope to see many more authorities equalling or exceeding the performance of this year’s winners in future editions of the Carbon Index.”