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For Recycle Now’s 17th annual Recycle Week, we are thanking residents of Portsmouth for continuing to recycle despite all that has happened this year.

To launch Recycle Week, Portsmouth City Council announced plans in its response to make the city a cleaner, greener and safer place to live. It plans for a fully electric bin lorry fleet at the end of the current waste collection contract in September 2023. The waste collection crews had an electric bin lorry on loan for a week this month to test its performance. The waste collection crews who have trialled the electric vehicle have been pleased with how it has performed and it compared well during the week to the standard diesel bin lorries.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said:

“We are truly excited about the prospect of the electric bin lorries. We are investing in the Portsmouth’s future and climate change response with some fantastic initiatives. The insight gained from the first trial will help us plan for a fully electric fleet when we renew the provision of waste collection at the end of the current contract.

“All of these recycling efforts wouldn’t be possible without Portsmouth’s recycling and waste workers who have been real heroes during this challenging time, providing the best service possible under the most difficult of circumstances. The recognition they received in the form of friendly waves, notes, cards and gifts left out for them is heart-warming proof of how Portsmouth has cooperated.

“Recycle Week this year is an opportunity to thank everyone in Portsmouth for continuing to recycle, whatever their circumstances and to celebrate the way we have all pulled together. There has been a positive leap forward in attitudes that we must capitalise on so Portsmouth can do even better in the coming years!”

The second phase of the food waste trial has also begun this month. This will take the total number of households receiving a food waste collection to over 20,000.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council’s Cabinet Member for Environment & Climate Change, said:

“To say that I am thrilled about the expansion of the food waste trial would be an understatement. We’ve seen an impressive collective effort in recycling across Portsmouth with 774 tonnes of food waste recycled in the past 12 months. We are continuing to build on that success by more than doubling the number of homes in the trial to recycle even more. We also installed the first carton recycling banks in the city last year, added more glass recycling banks, with more initiatives such as the electronic bin lorries underway.

“The residents’ commitment to recycling has been extremely positive and I’m extremely grateful to the Portsmouth communities for doing such a great job.”

Statistics released by Recycle Now show that through lockdown, the UK has become even more environmentally aware, with nearly 9 in 10 households saying they ‘regularly recycle’. Coming out of lockdown, more people are prepared to change their lifestyles to help the environment: 73 per cent, up from 68 per cent in 2019. And an amazing 93 per cent of UK households say they believe that ‘everyone has a responsibility to help towards cleaning up the environment’.

The figures come from research carried out during lockdown and an omnibus survey completed in July.

Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP UK, said:

“It’s fantastic to see that despite everything that has happened this year, more people than ever in Portsmouth are taking responsibility for protecting the environment by choosing to recycle. This is something we can all do, wherever we live – an individual action that, when performed by everyone, adds up to a huge change.”

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