Average Northamptonshire resident produces equivalent of 117 family-sized turkeys in waste every year

Environmental charity urges people to recycle more this Christmas after more rubbish went to landfill during first year of Covid pandemic
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The average Northamptonshire resident generated tons and tons of household waste last year, figures suggest.

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy is urging people across England to try and reduce their packaging waste ahead of Christmas 2021 after figures showed a rise in the amount of household rubbish generated nationally in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs data shows collectors took away an average of 467.2 kilos of household waste per person from homes across the county in the 12 months from April 2020.

More rubbish went into Northamptonshire bins during 2020-2021More rubbish went into Northamptonshire bins during 2020-2021
More rubbish went into Northamptonshire bins during 2020-2021

That was up from 441.4 kilos the year before — and the equivalent of around 117 family-sized turkeys each.

Northamptonshire residents were more wasteful than the average person across England last year with 420.6 kilos of household waste was collected per person nationally on average, compared to 407.3 kilos in 2019-20.

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said over 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated on Christmas Day across Great Britain, and one billion cards are thrown away.

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She added: “We all have a part to play in making the changes that will limit global warming and stem the rising tide of plastic that is choking our oceans.

"We must do better.

"Think about what you buy, what you consume and what you will do with the packaging waste that you create and make the right choices for our environment.”

Around 47 percent of household waste in Northamptonshire was sent for reuse, recycling or composting in 2020-21, down from 48 percent in 2019-20.

Greenpeace said the considerable rise in national household waste is worrying and that the figures likely underestimate the total volume of plastic thrown away.

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Nina Schrank, senior campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the coronavirus pandemic will have contributed, with people receiving more deliveries and disposing of more waste at home – but said too much packaging is sold already.

She added: "At Christmas time we become even more aware of our rubbish as we pile up packaging and wrapping when we're preparing food and opening presents.

"Seeing mountains of waste, especially masses of plastic, makes us feel very aware of the environmental impacts of our purchases."

Resources and Waste Minister Jo Churchill said local authorities faced unprecedented challenges to keep rubbish collections running during the pandemic

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She added: “Recycling and reusing more of our waste is key to helping us protect the environment for future generations.

“Despite a highly challenging year, less than eight percent of local authority collected waste went to landfill, while food waste recycling from households increased by 12 percent."