A big 'thank you' is being sent to residents in the East Riding for continuing to recycle during the challenges of Covid-19.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council is paying tribute to the efforts of local residents for carrying on regularly sorting their waste and putting their bins out for collection during a very difficult 2020.
The 'thank you' message is being sent out as part of national Recycle Week, which runs from September 21 to 27.
This year's campaign, now in its 17th year, is all about thanking the whole nation for their recycling efforts during Covid-19 under the title 'Together - We recycle'.
Statistics released for Recycle Week show that through lockdown the UK has become even more environmentally aware, with nearly 9 in 10 households saying they 'regularly recycle'.
In the East Riding, residents have managed to recycle around 35,000 tonnes of waste in their blue and brown bins between April and August this year.
Like many of the authority's frontline workers, the council's bin collection crews have been important key workers throughout the pandemic, continuing to collect residents' waste every bin day.
And they have received huge support and praise from residents, especially during the lockdown period.
Councillor Chris Matthews, the council's portfolio holder for strategic property and infrastructure, said: "East Riding residents really are the country's top recyclers and they have proved that even more this year by continuing to recycle their household waste during all the Covid-19 measures.
"We are extremely grateful for all their efforts and for their support of our bin collection crews this year especially, and I know they have really appreciated it."
Despite this year's efforts, the council has still encountered some issues with contamination in wheelie bins, with clothing and fabric being one of the biggest problems.
Since April this year, around 100 tonnes of textiles were found in the waste collected from resident's bins in the East Riding - that's equivalent to 10 bin lorries full - and none of that can be recycled.
The council is urging residents to put all unwanted clothing and fabric into nearby clothing banks, which can be found in all towns and many villages across the East Riding.
Councillor Matthews said: "Despite all the good work going on, there's still more we can all do to make sure we put our waste in the right wheelie bin, take it to recycle banks or to our recycling centres - it all makes a huge difference to the environment."
Peter Maddox, director of WRAP UK (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) which organises Recycle Week as part of the Recycle Now campaign, said: "It's fantastic to see that despite everything that has been thrown at them this year, more people than ever in the East Riding 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.
"The East Riding's recycling and waste workers have been real heroes too, 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 the East Riding has cooperated.
"Recycle Week this year is an opportunity to thank everyone in the East Riding 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 the East Riding can do even better in the coming year!"
East Riding of Yorkshire Council has topped the national recycling figures for the past three years running - recycling, reusing or composting more household waste than any other council in England.
For more information on Recycle Week visit: recyclenow.com/recycle-week
For more information about waste and recycling at home visit: eastriding.gov.uk/bins
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