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RECYCLING RATES: New collection service sees Watford residents recycling more than they throw away

 Published on: 3rd March 2021   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

Recycling in Watford has increased under a new food waste recycling service and changes to the non-recyclable waste service introduced by Watford Borough Council and Veolia in September 2020.

Watford residents are now recycling more than they throw away for the first time in the borough’s history.

The new food waste recycling service has enabled households to recycle more food waste by providing residents with a larger outdoor bin, which is collected weekly.

General waste collections have also decreased to fortnightly to encourage residents to make greater use of their weekly recycling service.

Since the launch of the new service changes, recycling rates across the borough have improved to over 50% and the amount of general waste being sent for disposal has decreased.

During the first four months of the new food waste recycling service, September – December 2020, Veolia diverted more than 500 tonnes of food waste as general waste tonnages fell by over 550 tonnes.

Food waste collected in Watford is then sent to a biofuel plant to generate energy.

The 500 tonnes already collected has been converted into enough energy to boil over 2.6 million kettles or power 5.8 million hours of TV viewing time.

Reducing waste and improving recycling rates are key objectives for Watford Borough Council which declared a climate emergency in 2019 and made a firm commitment in its Sustainability strategy to minimise waste, improve the environment and reduce carbon dioxide levels across the borough.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said: “The new waste and recycling collection service started last September and I’m really pleased that in such a short amount of time, recycling rates have increased. My thanks goes out to Watford residents who have increased their levels of recycling, despite the difficulties that we are all facing during these uncertain times. 

“The recent results are all the more impressive as the recycling has improved in terms of both tonnage and quality. We already have a very good track record for recycling, so to build upon this is excellent. It is really important that residents continue to have an excellent waste and recycling service and we make it easy for people to recycle as much waste as possible.”

Veolia Watford Senior Contract Manager, Darren Harding said: “I would like to thank residents for embracing the changes to the recycling and waste collection service. Our hard-working Veolia team worked through a challenging period last year to implement and deliver the new service. We’re delighted that the changes have delivered such a significant boost to recycling in the borough and that we are helping Watford residents to recycle more and waste less.”

The changes agreed for the waste and recycling service included:

  • The introduction of a weekly collection of food waste, with households using a new 23-litre outdoor brown bin to make recycling food waste easy
  • Fortnightly collection of the black bin for non-recyclable waste
  • The introduction of a yearly sign up service for fortnightly collections of garden waste (using existing green bins). This costs £45, or £40 if paid by direct debit.
  • Keeping the weekly collection of the blue-lidded recycling bin that means the majority of people’s waste will still be collected each week

Watford Council wants to remind residents that waste and recycling collections over Easter will change. You can check your collection calendar, or visit

For more information on the waste and recycling service change, please visit

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