Bin collectors in West Lindsey picked up more rubbish in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic than a year earlier, despite England seeing an overall drop in the amount collected.
Environmental campaigners Greenpeace say we’re still throwing away too much as a country and have called on ministers to “show some bottle” and fix the waste system.
West Lindsey District Council collected 12,428 tonnes of waste between April and June last year, the latest Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures show.
That was up 1,087 tonnes (10 percent) from the amount recorded during the same period in 2019.
Of the rubbish collected over the period, 47 percent was sent for recycling – down from 48 percent a year before.
The figures count household and non-household waste, including recyclable and non-recyclable objects.
A West Lindsey spokesman said: "We are proud to have kept all household waste, recycling and garden waste services running throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, working hard to keep staff safe whilst dealing with high volumes of household waste normally only seen at Christmas.
"The closure of Lincolnshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, due to Government advice and necessary social distancing measures, on top of people working from home, led to additional waste materials in household bins.
"This contributed to a rise in refuse materials being collected and sent to Energy from Waste, but also increased volumes of recycling materials such as cardboard. The excess recycling that we picked up in the blue bins and the garden waste collected meant that West Lindsey maintained a recycling rate of around 48% for the quarter – higher than the national average for this period.
"The Council has recently published a draft Environment and Sustainability strategy which doubles down on our commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling more of our waste to protect the environment.”
But Defra cautioned that some local authorities’ collections were heavily disrupted by the first coronavirus lockdown, which could affect the data.
Across England, councils collected 6.2 million tonnes of waste in the three months to June last year – down around 576,000 tonnes (nine percent) from a year earlier.
Of that, 43 percent was sent for recycling – a decrease from 46 percent in 2019.