RECYCLING figures which place South Holland as the second worst performing district in Lincolnshire do not show the full story, the authority has claimed.
Figures collected by Defra show 33 per cent of waste was sent for reuse, recycling or composting in 2010/11 – 23 per cent behind top-performing West Lindsey District Council.
Only Boston Borough Council sits below, with 29 per cent of waste collected being recycled.
But South Holland District Council leader Coun Gary Porter says it’s difficult to compare the county’s local authorities as they offer different services.
He explained: “We do not collect garden waste, they do. In the old days, they used to do all of the figures separately and we were always in the top end of the country.
“But the last government lumped the dry recycling and the garden waste together.”
Coun Porter says instead of a council-run garden waste collection service, South Holland’s residents are encouraged to compost their waste at home or use recycling centres, such as the facility in West Marsh Road, Spalding.
As a result, the level of garden refuse being recycled in South Holland is largely unrecorded in the figures.
Coun Porter said: “The figures are worth the paper they are written on but I honestly do not think it’s in the best interest that we swap to alternate weekly collections to pick up garden rubbish.
“It’s also not best for the environment to have a disposal lorry that does a mile to the gallon when people can compost at home.”
While the council is constantly looking for ways to improve its service, Coun Porter says it is also up to South Holland’s residents to do their part in recycling.
He says there will soon be added financial pressure as the cost of sending waste to landfill increases.
He added: “They do need to recycle more. Everyone needs to get their finger out and do more to give me more chance to protect weekly collections.
“We need to treat them like adults and encourage them to do the right thing. They need to be doing it or someone will insist they are treated like children and force them to do it.”
The percentage of househould waste sent for recycling in South Kesteven District Council, which covers Bourne and the Deepings, is 51 per cent.