Best recycler in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

1 December 2020

Cheshire West and Chester Council has finished top of the Eunomia Research & Recycling Recycling Carbon Index, making it the best recycler in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in terms of avoided carbon emissions in 2018/19.

The Carbon Index uses up-to-date waste data to calculate the carbon emissions avoided through local authority recycling schemes, providing an alternative to traditional weight-based recycling measurements. The Council declared a Climate Emergency in May 2019 and set the borough an ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2045. Carbon-based metrics can help improve recycling services in pursuit of this target.
The eighth edition of Eunomia’s annual league table showed that local authority recycling schemes across England, Wales and Northern Ireland saved nearly five million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking nearly four million cars off the roads or offsetting almost 850,000 return flights from London to Sydney.

Cheshire West and Chester Council was the highest placed in the annual table, saving 120kg CO2e per capita in 2018/19, ahead of last year’s winners, Welsh authority Merthyr Tydfil, which achieved savings of 119kg CO2e per capita. One of the reasons for the improved performance has been a 3 per cent increase in kerbside collected recycling tonnage, with more than half of the additional material being dry recycling.

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport 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, said: “Cheshire West and Chester Council has consistently been one of the Carbon Index’s Highflyers, 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.”   

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