Bristol leads recycling rates for seventh year running

Two Bristol Waste recycling trucks inside the plastic bay at the transfer station. A mountain of plastic recycling fills half the frame.

Bristol leads the way for city recycling

Bristol, you’ve done it again! For the seventh consecutive year, our city has led the way in core city recycling rates.

Bristol is recycling a whopping 5.9% more than our nearest competitor and 5.3% more than the national average.

Three Bristol Waste crew members with their arms around one another's shoulders smile at the camera

Sarah Burns, Innovation and Sustainability Manager at Bristol Waste, said:

“Recycling is so simple. It’s an easy step we can all take which makes a massive difference to our impact on the planet. If you’re unsure of what to do, check out the video on our Get It Sorted page for all the tips on how to get it sorted.”

“We’re always looking for ways to increase recycling in the city. From our Reuse Shops to the Digital Inclusion Scheme and the new Recycling Centre at Hartcliffe Way, these initiatives have played a pivotal role in helping us lead the way in environmental sustainability.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol said:

“Bristol’s reputation as an environmental city is rooted in the incredible efforts that our citizens make every day. Over the last year we have opened a new recycling centre in south Bristol and placed the first on-the-go recycling bins around the harbour.

“Our recent #BristolBinning campaign saw the amount of recyclable waste collected in our new public bins double with more general litter also being collected. This means less litter on the streets and better recycling.

“We are delighted with these amazing results, but there is still so much more we can do to truly ensure that Bristol waste’s nothing.”

A Bristol Waste recycling crew member empties a black recycling box into the collection vehicle

Cllr Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy, said:

“I would like to send a huge thank you to the fantastic residents of Bristol for helping us secure the top spot for recycling rates once again. By working together, we have been able to show England what is possible when it comes to waste reduction.

“Our ambitions are to continue to improve recycling rates. Bristol Waste’s work to help all households, including flats, to recycle better has pushed reuse and recycling further than the other core cities.”

A resident uses one of Bristol's recycling bins

Our city leading the way

Bristol residents have increased their food recycling by more than 20% over the last few years. Food waste collected in Bristol is sent to Avonmouth and turned into electricity that powers over 6,500 homes across the city.

The Reuse Shops have removed thousands of usable items from the waste stream and put them into the hands of residents. The Digital Inclusion Scheme has collected hundreds of computers from businesses and donated them to marginalised communities, closing the technology gap in Bristol. As well as helping residents reduce and reuse, the new recycling centre at Hartcliffe Way has made recycling more accessible than ever.

This seven-year milestone for Bristol reflects the efforts our crews and everyone in Bristol puts into recycling. The core cities’ recycling rates were:

  • Bristol, 45.6%
  • Manchester, 39.7%
  • Newcastle, 36.7%
  • Leeds, 36%
  • Sheffield, 32.1%
  • Nottingham, 25.3%
  • Liverpool, 22.9%
  • Birmingham, 22.8%

To learn how to waste less and live more sustainably, sign up to our Waste Nothing Challenge. Subscribers get one email a day for 30 days with an activity or idea to help them reduce their waste.

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