BOSTON is bottom of the league in Lincolnshire when it comes to recycling according to the latest government figures, but council bosses say the numbers can be explained by the way our garden waste is handled.
Defra figures show that just 29 per cent of the borough’s collected waste was sent for reuse, recycling or composting in 2010/11 – the worst performance for Lincolnshire and better than just four other authorities in the East Midlands.
Boston’s garden waste has been put in the green bins for collection since wheelie bins were introduced in 1996.
Borough council chiefs say the authority was one of the nation’s top recyclers when it switched to alternate weekly collections in 2003 and although it says the area’s recycling performance is now five times better than it was then, it has fallen behind its neighbours who have introduced alternate dry recycling and garden waste collections.
George Bernard, borough head of environmental operations, said: “The only garden waste collection service we’ve offered over the last few years was the Saturday service where people bring garden waste to the lorries.
“While this is very well received by hundreds of our residents, many thousands still put their garden waste, or elements of it, into their bins.
“As a consequence, our recycling performance is worse than all the districts who collect garden waste separately and is also behind that of South Holland District Council who don’t collect it at all, as a large volume of our garden waste counts towards the landfill total rather than recycling or composting.”
The council recently ran a garden waste kerbside collection trial which was put on for 40 per cent of the borough’s residents for a three month period.
During that trial 52 per cent of waste from those residents was recycled or composted – a figure more in line with the top performing authorities in 2010/11.
West Lindsey District Council was top for Lincolnshire with 56 per cent and East Lindsey achieved 55 per cent.
During the trial the rest of the borough only recycled or composted 28 per cent of its waste.