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Stroud is named England’s least wasteful town

Single-use plastic experts Bower Collective’s latest study ranks English towns and cities waste habits.


Stroud has been named England’s least wasteful town, possessing the country’s 2nd highest recycling rate and the 4th lowest amount of generated household waste. 

Considering household waste, recycling and fly-tipping statistics, Bower Collective’s study compares the 2019-2020 scores with 2014-2015 results, to see which towns and cities are making the most progress towards a more sustainable life.

On average, a Stroud resident produces 299kg of waste per year (the same weight as 100 bricks) which is 26% below the English average. After Halifax Stroud residents are also England’s best recyclers.

Between 2014-2015 and 2019-2020, Stroud has seen a 4% decrease in household waste and a 4% increase in its recycling rate, but a 34 % increase in fly-tipping. 

ae881d38f5acda84a172c32d9ef26a18 1 | Stroud is named England’s least wasteful town

Runner up Colchester generates 27% less household waste than average. Also thanks to its low household waste, Dover came third in the study. 

Dover generates the 6th least amount of household waste, an impressive 24% below the English average. 

The study also reveals the winner for each factor. Halifax has the highest recycling rates in the study, ahead of Stroud and Swindon. Finally, Chelmsford residents have the lowest fly-tipping rates per capita in the UK, ahead of Cheltenham and Stratford upon Avon. 

Northampton residents create the least household waste. in the UK, ahead of Colchester and Exeter, with each person generating 107 kg of household waste per year, which is 73% less than the English average.

Comparing the most recent data to 2014-2015, the research also reveals how habits have changed since then. London has seen the biggest reduction in generated household waste, with a huge 42% reduction.

Other towns showing marked progress are Eastbourne and Portsmouth, which also saw big reductions in household waste. When it comes to those increasing their recycling efforts the most, Bournemouth has seen a 28% increase and Cambridge saw a 21% increase, which are both far above the third next improved town of Rotherham with 5%. 

However, progress can be bumpy, and some towns and cities have seen negative changes. High Wycombe has seen a 48% increase in generated household waste per capita, and Bradford has seen a 21% fall in its recycling rate – the largest reduction in the study whereas Huddersfield has seen an incredible 1659% increase in fly-tipping. In fact, only 15 of the 112 towns and cities in the study saw a reduction in household waste over the five years. 

A survey hosted by Bower Collective found that 98% of respondents said that they would make using less single-use plastic one of their resolutions for 2022 and 1 in 3 admitted that their recycling habits ‘could be better’. 

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