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WR1Increase Recycling Rates


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Stevenage Borough Council is aiming to promote and increase recycling rates across SBC sites, residential housing and commercial buildings.


On average, a person within the UK throws away around 400kg of waste every year. During 2022/23, the Council collected more than 30,000 tonnes of waste, with approximately 11,500 tonnes recycled or composted, and nearly 19,000 tonnes unable to be recycled or composted, also known as residual waste.

Based on these figures, the average Stevenage resident produces 340kg of waste per year, slightly under the national average.

What role does SBC play?

SBC is part of the Hertfordshire Waste Aware Partnership (HWP), where county, district and borough councils work together to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste. Different initiatives and campaigns have been put in place thanks to the HWP. For more information on these initiatives, please see the tasks section below.

In addition to the partnership and regular collections, the Council also provides local schools with free recycling services for their paper, glass, tins, plastic and food waste. In addition to this, SBC also offers educational opportunities on recycling, litter and sustainability. Schools Recycling and Support (

Where does my waste go?

  • Residual waste that cannot be recycled is predominantly transferred to an energy recovery facility (~77%) and the remainder is sent to landfill (~23%). These facilities are based in Buckinghamshire. The HWP is aiming to reach the target to 100% EfW (energy from waste) by 2030.
  • Mixed food and garden waste is transferred to an in-vessel composting (IVC) facility near South Mimms. To find out more about IVCs, please visit
  • For recycling, SBC operates an in-house collection service, and collects materials separately (paper & card, glass, and plastics & cans), having private arrangements for their onwards journey. Paper and card are sent on to a paper mill in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Glass goes to a facility in Yorkshire. Plastics and cans go to a facility in Kent, from where plastics and cans are sorted into metals and different types of plastics and then continue their onward journey for reprocessing.

What can I recycle?

Find out more about what you can and cannot recycle at home using Your A-Z Recycling Guide ( and where you can take items for recycling at Recycling Centre ( and Recycling Banks (

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What are we doing?

  • Todo31/03/2025

    Separate weekly food waste collections

    The Government's Resource & Waste Strategy is likely to require the implementation of separate weekly food waste collections to households. The Council has already started preliminary planning for this new service requirement.

  • Todo01/01/2035

    Increase recycling rates from 40% to 60% by 2035

What has been done?

  • Done25/10/2023

    Host a Recycling Road Show

    The Recycling Road Show was hosted in the Event Island for residents to join and learn about SBC's recycling process. SBC's waste management partners also joined to educate residents on the process of mixed and glass recycling. The space also served as an opportunity for residents to tell officers what they would need to improve their recycling habits.

  • Done31/07/2023

    Flat Block Recycling Pilot Scheme

    The flats recycling pilot project commenced in August 2022 and concluded in July 2023. New recycling infrastructure and signage were installed at six pilot flat blocks across Stevenage. New communications materials were issued and monitoring of the use of the recycling bins before and after installation was completed. The project saw a huge 185% increase in the amount of recycling collected across the six sites. This has the potential to generate an additional £3,530.28 of revenue annually from recycling tonnage collected at these six sites. We are currently looking at options to expand the recycling pilot as part of the second phase of the project.

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Information updated 26/02/2024

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