A NEW plan has been put together to, among other things, improve recycling rates in the borough.

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has produced a five-year waste strategy document which looked at national and local context and the borough’s waste journey over time, including service performance and the outcome of public consultations.

TVBC environmental portfolio holder Councillor Graham Stallard said: “The council’s waste collection service is rightly applauded by many of our residents and members.

“More than 53,500 properties are visited weekly, that’s nearly three million visits a year, with a very low percentage of missed bins.

“Costs have been contained, despite a substantial house building programme in Test Valley, by the effective reorganisation of collection rounds and the council’s home grown ‘Recycling Stars’ initiative is a successful and well-known campaign. 

“As a partner in Project Integra, we also share the success of Hampshire’s low landfill percentage, one of the leading authorities in the UK in 2017, with only 6.14 per cent of our waste going to landfill.

“That means that nearly 94 per cent of our waste is either recycled or used to produce electricity.

“We want to do more to increase our 33.1 per cent recycling percentage, particularly with regard to the collection of recyclable material currently being put into black bins, and we recognise that providing continuous improvement in respect of waste minimisation, reuse, recycling and composting is an important issue and a key priority for both residents and members.

“Being an in-house service means we offer a reliable, high quality and efficient service for the borough’s residents.”

 Residents shared their opinions on waste-related topics through several public consultations to shape the document which shows those thoughts and which ones are feasible for further consideration.

The overwhelming consensus was for a system that collected the largest range of materials possible and was simple to follow and understand.

The document also highlights work currently being undertaken, including support for a new single Super Material Recycling facility that will manage a wider range of materials including pots, tubs, trays and cartons.

For more information about waste and recycling in the borough, go to testvalley.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling.