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UK recycling performance evidenced in interactive map

SITA UK has recently launched an interactive map, highlighting how the recycling efforts of UK residents compare with the rest of the country.

This colour-coded digital map clearly illustrates the percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting across different local authorities. A range of information including recycling services, materials collected, collection frequency and waste arising per capita, can also be viewed.

The tool has reportedly been introduced in response to Keep Britain Tidy’s report – The Ur[bin] Issue –  published in September. Members of the public were said to have little understanding of the national recycling picture, or of their own authority’s recycling performance relative to others’, leaving them feeling disengaged and unmotivated to recycle.

So what a great idea this map is.

  • For households, and businesses, who question the impact that their own recycling efforts have, this is a helpful reminder that it all helps towards achieving real collective progress. We’ve heard far too many people doubt the importance of their individual behaviours, but the cumulative effect of responsible sustainable practice can be significant.
  • It seems to evidence the consequence of disparate local authority approaches to recycling. Because there are different communication messages, different collection frequencies, different budget allocations and seemingly different priorities, progress towards the UK’s overall recycling targets is varied. The map perhaps reinforces the argument that either a unified approach is required, or, local authorities should look to the better performing districts, in search of best practice models.
  • It acts as another useful educational tool at a pivotal time of change – it showcases the fact that, with clever thinking and commitment, real leaps of progress can be made.
  • Perhaps the map may even instil a bit of competitive spirit! Just as we all love to be crowned the ‘best’ at something, we all similarly like to avoid last place. The tool illustrates areas where real improvements are required, and perhaps illustrates which local authorities could benefit from some help.

It will be interesting to see what the UK landscape looks like when the next set of annual statistics are reviewed…

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