Fortnightly collections of refuse aid recycling
Bringing in fortnightly rubbish rounds and separate food waste collections appear to be the best ways to boost household recycling, Government figures suggest.
Most of the 10 councils which had the biggest increases in recycling rates last year, according to the Environment Department (Defra), have brought in fortnightly refuse collections and food waste recycling in the past two years.
The most improved council was Runnymede Borough Council, Surrey, which increased recycling rates from 29 per cent in 2010-11 to 47 per cent last year.
The council put its success down to introducing a wider range of recyclable goods, including food waste.
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The council also switched from weekly to fortnightly refuse collections in January 2011.
Bury Council increased recycling rates by nearly 50 per cent by changing to fortnightly household rubbish rounds and bringing in food waste collections for 56,000 households which already had bins for recycling their garden waste.
Vale of White Horse and West Oxfordshire district councils both boosted their recycling rates to above 60 per cent of total waste in the latest figures.
Both councils have introduced a system of fortnightly rubbish and separate weekly food waste collections in the past two years.
Vale of White Horse District Council has the highest recycling rate, at nearly 69 per cent, of any English local authority.
David Harvey, cabinet member for environment at West Oxfordshire council, attributed its success to bringing in food waste and free garden waste collections, and to the commitment of residents.
He said: "West Oxfordshire residents are keen recyclers and there has been a dramatic increase in recycling rates since we introduced food waste and free garden waste collections."
The combination of fortnightly rubbish rounds and separate food waste collections proved a success for Cheltenham Borough Council, which boosted recycling rates by a third from under 35 per cent of waste to 46 per cent in a year.
Councillor Roger Whyborn, cabinet member for sustainability, said changes to their waste collection "had caused a major change in people's recycling habits".