The Horsham district is the first area in West Sussex to reach the national recycling target of 50 per cent for domestic waste.
Although the announcement proved unpopular with many residents, Horsham District Council argued the changes would improve the area’s recycling rates at the same time as saving the authority money.
The service now sees general household waste bins collected one week and the blue-topped recycling bins collected the next week.
Provisional statistics show Horsham district’s household recycling rate has now exceeded 50 per cent, up from 44 per cent last reported.
Councils have until 2020 to reach the national recycling target.
Philip Circus, HDC’s cabinet member for waste, recycling and cleansing, said: “I am proud of what we have achieved which has fulfilled all our hopes and expectations.
“Our consultants estimated that, based on the experience of other local authorities, we would be likely to increase our recycling figures from 44 per cent, by somewhere between six per cent and nine per cent.
“It is too early to tell where the figures will settle down but clearly, on the basis of the May, June and July figures we have surpassed the 50 per cent figure and we may find our figures settle down at 54 per cent or 55 per cent which would be a ten per cent increase in our recycling rate.
“My thanks go to our officers who have done a magnificent job in organising and seeing through the changes and to the public who have risen to the challenge to increase their recycling.”
At the same time as introducing fortnightly general waste collections for households, HDC also introduced a new fleet of waste collection trucks.
As one of the main concerns about the changes was the potential for bins to smell as rubbish accumulates over a fortnight HDC put out four suggestions to stop residents’ bins becoming smelly and unpleasant.
The council continues to ask all residents to keep thinking about how they might be able to reduce, reuse or recycle their household waste even more.
For advice and tips including a useful A to Z list of what can and can’t be recycled, visit the council’s website.
To subscribe to the garden waste collection service, which currently costs £39 a year, visit the council’s website or call 01403 733144.
What do you think about the increased recycling rate? Email the newsdesk.