Over a million visits to Buckinghamshire’s Household Recycling Centres in 2020/21

Changes over the past year include a 25 per cent increase in garden waste as more people took up gardening and a third more cardboard due to online shopping

Monday, 21st June 2021, 4:20 pm
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 4:20 pm

Over the past year, Buckinghamshire’s nine local household recycling centres have seen over a million visits - more than the Eden Project or Ashmolean Museum, or National Trust estates Cliveden and Waddesdon combined.

Despite the sites being closed for a few weeks at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic (March/April 2020), over a million visits were made throughout the year, with approximately 66 per cent of waste recycled or composted. The recorded number of visits is lower than that seen in previous years, however almost the same amount of waste was bought to the sites than the year before and visitors filled their cars more, increasing carloads by up to a third:

Average trip 2019/20 – 33kg

Buckinghamshire Council refuse and recycling centre at Burnham
Buckinghamshire Council refuse and recycling centre at Burnham

Average trip 2020/21 – 44kg

With residents visiting the local sites with bigger carloads of rubbish, it’s more important than ever to encourage sorting waste before arrival at the site to ensure as much waste can be recycled as possible. Over 30 different waste streams are accepted at each site, so the more visitors can sort before making a trip to the tip, the more that can be recycled.

Changes in recycling and waste behaviours due to the Covid-19 pandemic were visible on site. There was a 25 per cent increase in garden waste as many residents took up gardening and the sites received a third more cardboard than previous years as online deliveries increased to Buckinghamshire homes and businesses.

Unfortunately, the pandemic took its toll on Buckinghamshire’s reuse shops which experienced a 50 per cent drop as they remained closed for a large part of the year in line with government guidance. All reuse shops have now reopened, and customers and donations are welcomed.

Peter Strachan, cabinet member for climate change and environment, said: “We have worked really hard this year to keep the sites safe and easy to access for our residents and it’s great to see so many people still doing the right thing and bringing their waste to our sites. On average 450 visits were made for every hour the sites were open.

“A million visits go to show how important the Household Recycling Centres are to local people and we are happy we can provide that service to them.

"In Buckinghamshire, we have the opportunity to recycle so many different types of waste so we really do encourage people to sort their waste at home before making a trip to the tip so together, we can recycle more and reduce our impact on the environment.”

Take part in Buckinghamshire Council’s survey and share your views on the county’s household recycling centres hereGet information on Buckinghamshire’s Household Recycling Centres here