File photo of city councillor John Tanner out with some of Oxford’s waste and recycling collection team. Picture: Ed Nix

OXFORD’S residents are recycling waste at record levels, despite the challenges created by Covid-19.

Latest figures show the annual weight of recycling collected has risen over the past three years from just under 21,658 tonnes to almost 24,065 tonnes.

The recycling rate for all waste collected by Oxford City Council in 2020/21 is coming up as 53.02 per cent, an increase over last year’s 52.23 per cent. It is also a big increase over the figure six years ago, which was just over 46 per cent.

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The recycling figures include dry mixed recycling (paper, cardboard, cans and plastics), food waste and garden waste. However the council says that rates are starting to level out as Oxford residents become ever more aware of environmental factors.

The authority said that people are buying less and reusing more, which affects the recycling rate. It said residents are ‘becoming more environmentally conscious following heightened attention around environmental factors, which is leading to them changing their behaviour’.

Around 30 per cent of household waste is still made up from food waste with around 13 per cent more food waste being recycled this year than last.

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The council is also asking residents to be sure they are putting the correct items in the right bin.

Around 6.5 per cent of recycled material collected since April 2020 was rejected and incinerated due to having contaminated material in the bin.

To check that the right item goes in the right bin visit the what goes in each bin webpage at oxford.gov.uk

Garden waste figures are lower this year as Covid forced the collection service to be suspended for a time last year.