A NEW system of recycling plastic bottles and cardboard seems to have caught on in a big way and boosted the recycling rate in Wiltshire to 50 per cent.

It is also cutting the amount the council spends on landfill taxes.

The new scheme was originally demanded by Tidworth and Ludgershall councillors Mark Connolly and Chris Williams, who put the first motion to the newly-created Wiltshire Council in 2009 about this issue.

The new kerbside garden waste and plastic bottle and cardboard recycling collections, introduced last year, have helped Wiltshire residents recycle 50 per cent of its waste in the first six months of the financial year.

This compares to 2011, when during the same period just 44 per cent was recycled.

Toby Sturgis, Cabinet member for waste services, said: “Residents in Wiltshire are to be congratulated on this fantastic achievement; it is tremendous news and shows people have really embraced the green culture and we are right on track to meet the 2014 target.

“Clearly the new kerbside recycling collections are encouraging people to recycle and compost more of their waste.

“The reduction in waste sent to landfill is particularly pleasing as the amount we have to pay in Landfill Tax is rapidly i n c r e a s i n g from £64 per ton this year to £80 per ton by 2014.

“Last year Wiltshire Council spent £4.4million on Landfill Tax.”

The introduction of fortnightly household waste collections across Wiltshire has also resulted in a marked reduction in the amount of household waste residents are sending to landfill.