RESIDENTS across Buckinghamshire are being urged to reach new heights in the battle to improve their environment by recycling as much as they possibly can.

The county currently recycles 47.6 per cent of its waste – but councils across the area are aiming for a rate of 60 per cent by the year 2020.

Buckinghamshire Waste Partnership – comprising of the local authorities in the county – has this week issued a fresh appeal to the public in the run-up to Recycle Now Week, which runs from June 16-22.

“We are doing really well as a county and have made massive strides over the last few years, but it’s imperative we do even better,” said Partnership Chairman Lesley Clarke.

“I am aware some cynics may dismiss this initiative literally as a ‘load of old rubbish’, but you simply cannot under-estimate the value of recycling on our planet.

"The more we can recycle and re-use, the less we need to dispose of in landfill or in other ways, such as Energy from Waste plants.”

The national Recycle Now Week campaign has been held annually since 2004. This year’s theme is ‘recycling at home and away’, a topic at the heart of the Buckinghamshire Waste Partnership.

The emphasis is on the public to not only recycle in their own homes, but to follow this through whenever they are out and about.

“When you are enjoying a picnic in our countryside or parks, please look out for and utilise nearby recycling facilities – or take your waste with you and recycle it at home,” said Mrs Clarke. “We have some beautiful open spaces here, and we’d like to keep it that way.”

Wycombe, Chiltern, South Bucks and Aylesbury Vale district councils and Buckinghamshire County Council comprise the group dedicated to reducing waste in Buckinghamshire. The partnership strives to make it easier for residents to recycle whether it is at home or at one of the local recycling centres or Household Waste and Recycling Centres across Buckinghamshire.

The introduction of new household waste and recycling collection schemes across the county has already seen the recycling rate rise, says the council. Many more items can now be recycled from home including plastic pots, tubs and trays, Tetra Pak, foil and aerosols, as well as the materials previously collected such as paper, card and glass bottles and jars.

Most homes across Buckinghamshire now receive a weekly food waste collection and improvements are ongoing for flats and schools.

Lesley Clarke added: “We know our target of 60 per cent is realistic, but we need the public’s help to achieve it. Every single person has a stake in this because the planet and the environment belong to everybody.

“I would encourage people to do all they can to reduce, re-use and recycle their waste. I know all members of our Waste Partnership are committed to this campaign, so residents should contact their local council if ever they encounter problems or stumbling blocks in doing this.”

To find out how you can do more to reduce, re-use and recycle at home, school or in the workplace visit