The first official figures for the controversial Berrylands recycling trial are out, and show it has created a massive reduction in the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

The scheme, which began eight weeks ago, has caused a flurry of letters from residents unhappy at having only fortnightly collections of ordinary refuse.

But the indications from the first six weeks is that the weekly collections have been successful, with green box recycling almost doubling, more than 3.5kg of additional organic and cardboard waste collected per household, and a reduction in waste sent to landfill from 7.73kg to 4.47kg per household per week.

Rob Dickson, head of environment and sustainability, said: "If you had offered these results to us back in February I do not think I would have believed it was possible.

"It's a phenomenal success. I do not say that lightly or in an exaggerated way."

Participation in the trial, which covers 2,500 houses in Berrylands and Alexandra wards, has also been high, with 89 per cent of residents using green boxes, compared with a 44 per cent borough average.

More than three quarters of people are using both the cardboard and organics bag and bins, which are entirely new services.

Kingston Council is heralding it as a huge success, increasing the chances that something resembling it will be extended borough-wide.

But the pilot scheme is unlikely to be carried borough-wide without some modifications for next year's contract.

One of the major early complaints was that the black bins were too small to carry two weeks of refuse.

The council said that only four per cent of people said it was a problem by the third collection day, down from seven per cent and 11 per cent in the first two fortnights.

Lee Marshall, chairman of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, said: "On first inspection, the waste minimisation and recycling figures look very impressive.

"Local authorities across the country are having to make brave decisions in order to meet the challenging targets set by the Government. The Berrylands trial was a brave step for Kingston Council, but it is clearly paying off."

The council's communications department came in for high praise, as did contractor SITA.

Mr Dickson said workmen were working hard just to lift the amount of recyclables from the roadside.

Plastics have posed the biggest problem, with confusion over the types could and could not be recycled.

  • Do you want to see the scheme extended to your dustbin?