Zoopla has looked at the 10 locations that are recycling the most household waste – and found plenty of innovation and enough happy residents to make the rest of us turn green.

Finding a home in an area which prides itself in being environmentally-friendly is important for many homebuyers – and it appears that there is a big difference between local authorities when it comes to how much of our rubbish is recycled.

The national average recycling rate is just 44.8%, but in East Riding of Yorkshire, the leading local authority, that jumps to an impressive 64.5%, a study by WasteDataFlow and Defra found.

At the bottom of the table for recyclable waste was the London borough of Newham at just 14%.

Household recycling schemes can have an enormous impact on the mindset of local residents and be the source of much pride or frustration.

Local governments all over the UK are exploring how new technologies – including smart household bins – can dramatically boost recycling rates, reduce DIY waste and even turn discarded crisp packets into park benches.

Here’s a look at the top 10 local authorities and what they currently have to offer homeowners who want to ensure as little goes to landfill as possible…

1. East Riding of Yorkshire – 64.5% (Percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting)

As kingpin of the UK for recycling, East Riding has been nominated as Team of the Year for the third year running in the National Recycling Awards.

It’s easy to see why. The team has been repeatedly recognised for projects including its cleverly designed Metal Matters scheme which increased the recycling of metal packaging in residents’ blue wheelie bins

It also pioneered an electrical goods amnesty in which residents donated an impressive 1.2 tonnes of unwanted electrical items for recycling and reuse.

There are lots of other initiatives to also delight environmentally-aware residents. 

For example, in May, landowners and local organisations in parts of East Riding were invited to take advantage of a series of tree planting grant schemes.

More than £35,000 of funding is available for new tree, woodland and hedgerow planting projects in areas close to wind farm developments across East Riding. 

During 2018-2019, these grant programmes have seen more than 28,750 trees and shrubs planted, providing a massive boost for wildlife and enhancing local landscapes.

East Riding has introduced an initiative to increase metal recycling

East Riding has introduced an initiative to increase metal recycling

What does it cost to live here?

The average price for property in East Riding of Yorkshire stood at £173,964 in May 2019.

This is a rise of 0.42% in the three months since February 2019 and fall of 1.1% compared to 12 months ago. 

A detached home sold for an average of £288,018, a semi detached sold for £164,203 and a flat would set you back £109,344

2. Rochford District Council – 63%

Since 2008, Rochford has gone from being one of the lowest performing local authorities in the country on recycling, with a rate of under 20%, to one of the best – and it’s all because of the commitment shown by residents to recycling as much as possible. 

This Essex local authority attributes its second place in the recycling charts to residents embracing its simple ‘three bin’ system – with one waste bin for non-recyclables, one for recyclables and one for compostables (food and garden waste). 

The council actively encourages residents to take up composting at home and promotes the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign. Community Litter Picks have also been gathering momentum across the district, with a series of community clear-up events. 

Rochford was the only area in south Essex to achieve above 50% in a separate study of household waste recycling analysis by solar light manufacturing company The Solar Centre. 

Not only are locals committed to helping the environment, they are among the happiest in the country.

Rochford was found to be the tenth most content area in the UK in a report compiled by the Office for National Statistics which asked people to what extent they believe things they do are worthwhile, and how happy and anxious they feel. 

What does it cost to live here?

The average property price in Rochford was £318,889 in May 2019. 

This is a rise of 0.81% in the last three months and fall of 4.26% over 12 months. 

A detached home sold for an average of £442,908, a semi detached sold for £289,664 and a flat in Rochford cost £170,944.  

Community litter picks are helping reduce the amount of discarded household waste

Community litter picks are helping reduce the amount of discarded waste

3. South Oxfordshire Council – 63% 

Bagging joint second place with Rochford could be thanks to this council’s handy app which at the touch of a button tells residents which bin on what day is being emptied each week. 

The app – Binzone - provides recycling collection dates, can be accessed from a web browser but is designed to look and work best from a smartphone.

You can tap the handy “locate me” button to find out the collection details for your current location, so if you’re at home you don’t even need to type in your postcode.  

The app will send users a notification if their waste disposal collection day changes due to a bank holiday, Easter and Christmas. It will also let residents know if collections are disrupted by snow or icy conditions.  

Residents can even use Binzone to look up what bin their rubbish goes in so that everything ends up in the right place. 

The region is known for being rich in green spaces and nature reserves and as such has low pollution levels. 

Locals are eager to maintain this in the more built up areas. The council has recently launched a campaign, supported by Public Health England, to help improve local air quality across South Oxfordshire by asking drivers to turn off their engines when they are stationary.

What does it cost to live here?

The average price for property in Oxfordshire stood at £423,796 in May 2019. 

This is a rise of 0.67% in the last three months and fall of 0.93% over 12 months. 

A detached home sold for an average of £606, 820, a semi-detached sold for £369,561 and a flat cost £252,303

4. Three Rivers District Council – 63%

The county council of this south-west of Hertfordshire district provides a recycling bin for the kerbside recycling collection of paper, glass, cans, household plastic packaging, cartons, aerosols, foil and cardboard. There is also a collection scheme for garden waste and a pod for food waste. 

To boost its impressive recycling numbers for 2019, the Three Rivers District Council has also introduced a trial service to collect the community’s unwanted textiles from their kerbside free of charge. 

Just in time for a summer cleanout, the items that can be collected include clothes, paired shoes, belts, handbags, curtains, towels and bed linens, which will then be recycled. 

Estimates suggest that around 7,000 tonnes of textiles are thrown into landfill each year in Hertfordshire. 

What does it cost to live here?

The average price for property in Rickmansworth was £706,563 in May 2019. 

This is a rise of 1.02% in three months and fall of 0.43% over 12 months. A detached home in the area sold for an average of £1.1million, while a semi-detached stood at £578,957 and a flat cost £371,900.  

Nearby, the average price for property in Chorleywood stood a little higher at £861,178 - a rise of 1.02% in the last three months and fall of 0.43% over 12 months. 

A detached house sold for an average of £1.1million, a semi-detached sold for £718,707 and £416,455 for a flat.  

A free trial service has been launched by Three Rivers to cut down on the amount of textiles ending up in landfill like this

A trial has been launched to cut down on the amount of textiles ending up in landfill

5. Surrey Heath Borough Council – 61.4%

Surrey Heath – along with neighbouring districts Woking, Mole Valley and Elmbridge – use a firm called Join Waste Solutions to handle recycling which develops initiatives on behalf of the Surrey Environment Partnership (SEP). 

Residents can get a huge range of items collected for recycling from their doorstep. On top of the usual cardboard, plastic waste and food waste, they can leave small electrical items such as toasters and hairdryers, as well as unwanted clothes and shoes, belts and bags. 

The desire to be eco-friendly stretches further. Plans for Camberley’s new £22 million leisure centre promise it will be “state-of-the-art, super efficient, super environmentally-friendly”. 

Surrey Heath also made it into the top 10 places in England that are ranked the happiest areas to live in, according to a Royal Mail study earlier this year. 

What does it cost to live here?

The average price for property in Camberley – a popular area in Surrey Heath – was £441,514 in May 2019. 

This is a rise of 0.45% in the last three months and fall of 0.96% over 12 months. 

A detached house sold for an average of £632,405, a semi-detached sold for £377,874 and £243,704 for a flat. 

6. Stroud District Council – 61.2%

Like East Riding in the top spot, this council has made it on to the shortlist of the National Recycling Awards 2019 - in two categories - ‘Introduction of Food Waste Collections’ and ‘Cutting Waste to Landfill’. 

But its drive to help the environment goes further than recycling.

Stroud District Council is mapping out how it will help the whole district hit an ambitious environmental target to help protect future generations against climate change.

The council’s Environment Committee is being asked to approve a framework of measures to help the district become carbon neutral by 2030. 

These initiative include retrofitting homes with greener energy options, new renewable energy developments and more cycle paths.

What does it cost to live here?

The average property in Stroud cost £358,665 in May 2019. 

This is a rise of 0.61% in the three months and fall of 0.58% over 12 months. 

Detached houses in Stroud sold for an average of £520,693, semi-detached homes went for £286,231 and flats for £171,767.  

7. South Northamptonshire District Council – 60.5% 

South Northamptonshire Council provides residents with an easy all-in-one recycling system where different types of material all go in one bin. 

The latest green initiative is a new scheme that will allow locals to turn crisp packets into park benches. 

Funded by brands, manufacturers and retailers, Terracycle aims to 'recycle the non-recyclable.'  

Residents can drop off crisp, nut, popcorn, and pretzel packets at the council offices in Towcester. 

Once collected, the packets are compacted into hard plastic granules which are extruded and can then be incorporated into a wide array of products such as plastic fence posts or benches. 

What does it cost to live here?

The average price for property in Towcester stood at £372,112 in May 2019. 

This is a rise of 0.65% in the last three months and fall of 3.93% over 12 months. 

In terms of property types, detached houses sold for an average of £485,093, semi-detached homes went for £288,955 and flats sold for an average of £149,666.  

8. Vale of White Horse District Council – 60.4%

This is the second district in Oxfordshire to make the UK’s top 10 in recycling rates. 

Like their neighbours in South Oxfordshire, residents here can also use the Binzone app which tells users which rubbish bin is due for collection that week and includes a waste item search function to find out which bin to use.

Vale of White Horse district council has also developed a cardboard wheel (pictured below) to help those without the app to check which waste container their items go in. 

Point the arrow at the material and you'll see the colour of the bin

The council is vocal when it comes to environmental issues and recently joined a growing number of local authorities in declaring a climate emergency. 

Vale of White Horse District Council has called on the government to act on issues such as setting clear standards through the building regulations for zero carbon new buildings, facilitate the urgent retrofit of existing homes to meet energy targets and to provide local government with increased support for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including on-street charging. 

It seems that residents are very happy with their local council’s efforts. According to the latest survey, 77% of residents were satisfied with how the council runs things. 

What does it cost to live here?

The average price for property in Abingdon – a popular area in the district - stood at £398,246 in May 2019. 

This is a rise of 0.44% in three months and fall of 0.17% over 12 months. 

A detached home in Abingdon sold for an average of £552,483, a semi-detached home cost £354,412 and £226,206 for a flat. 

In nearby Faringdon, the average price was similar at £388,304 - a rise of 0.34% in the last three months and a 2.02% uplift compared to a year ago. Flats in Faringdon sold for an average of £180,427

Detached homes cost an average of £573,860 and semi-detached properties stood at £329,572.  

9. Derbyshire Dales District Council – 60.3%

An anti-waste scheme has been launched to try and protect the Peak District

An anti-waste scheme has been launched to try and protect the Peak District

This council’s website is full of information including an A-Z of waste to encourage locals to dispose and recycle waste thoughtfully – and it seems to be working. 

With much of this district situated in the Peak District National Park, staying green is important to locals on an even wider scale, it would seem. 

A new sustainability campaign has been launched that aims to reduce waste and protect its idyllic Peak District setting. The campaign, ‘Keep The Peaks Green’, has been launched ahead of a music festival which will take place in a small village in the Dales called Pikehall.  

Organisers of the Y Not Festival say they recognise that running a festival on this site has a direct impact, ‘both positive and negative,’ on the natural environment. 

The festival is also introducing a ‘litter bond’ for ticket holders meaning every booking will have a compulsory £10 deposit. Festival-goers will only be able to recoup it if they provide a bag of rubbish at the gate as they leave.

All single-use plastic bottles are banned on site and there will be a 10p cup scheme for every cup that is collected and handed it.

The Derbyshire Dales consistently features in the Halifax annual survey of the best places to live in the UK. In January it was ranked 10th. 

What does it cost to live here?

The average price for property in Darley Dale – nestled within the Peak District National Park – stood at £286,798 in May 2019.

This is a rise of 0.65% in the last three months (since February 2019) and rise of 5.12% since 12 months ago. 

Detached homes sold for an average of £366,772, semi-detached homes cost £202,566 and flats sold for more at £345,863

10. Stratford-upon-Avon District Council – 60.3%

While the market town is known for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, it has also made the top 10 places in the UK for recycling rates. 

Residents can recycle most things from the kerbside here including small electrical equipment, textiles and household batteries. 

Locals are proud of other green initiatives such as a new affordable housing development where homes were built to be as energy efficient as possible. 

The 14 homes have been built specifically for people with a local connection to the village of in Wootton Wawen either through family or work. 

The development was shortlisted in the Best Green Scheme category of the 24housing Awards 2018 which celebrate excellence across the housing sector. 

What does it cost to live here?

The average price for property in Stratford-upon-Avon stood at £383,810 in May 2019. 

This is a rise of 0.85% in the last three months and fall of 4.21% in 12 months. 

Detached homes in Stratford-upon-Avon sold for an average of £551,367, semi-detached homes cost £334,681 and flats sold for £214,736.

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