AS A council we are constantly striving to improve our environment against the backdrop of a growing population and its associated pressures on housing and infrastructure.

We are privileged to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country and we must keep it that way not only for ourselves but future generations.

Part of that is ensuring we recycle and reuse as much as possible.

We are already ranked by the Government as the sixth best local authority in England for recycling but there is still room for improvement and I believe our new waste service will help achieve that aim.

The key aspect is the use of a new wheelie bin for recycling.

This will ensure that come collection day, if the wind blows, then our streets will not be littered with flyaway pieces of paper or box lids scattered on to roads to be crushed by traffic.

When we were first considering the new service, we carried out a public consultation and the change to a new recycling wheelie bin was the major change that residents favoured.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Everyone can now recycle a wide variety of items at the kerbside.

These include textiles, batteries, electrical items and even cooking oil.

These are in addition to food and garden waste collections which will continue unchanged.

So, as you will see, there are far more opportunities to recycle than before and if you consider that 20 years ago, such a service would have been unthinkable, then it shows how far we have come when it comes to helping protect our environment.

The fact is that we are all individually and collectively responsible for ensuring our waste is dealt with as efficiently as possible.

Gone are the days of the throwaway society when everything was shoved in one bin with no consideration of where it might end up.

We know how keen residents are to recycle – they are already among the best in the country and now we have the opportunity to become even better.

I would encourage everyone to embrace the new waste service when it starts in October, take time to absorb the information being issued by the council and let’s hit the ground running to boost our recycling rate still further.