Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) have praised residents after they were named among the best recyclers in the UK.

Since moving to weekly collections of household rubbish and recycling in 2017, household recycling in the borough has increased to 53 per cent, compared to the national average of 46 per cent and the Government's nationwide 2020 target of 50 per cent.

Former Mayor and Councillor Neil Dallen hailed the news as vital for improving the well-being of residents and the environment in the borough.

"This is fantastic news and contributes to a greener environment for everyone...Enormous credit must go to all involved in helping recycle such a high proportion of our domestic waste and reducing the rubbish that has to be disposed of.

"Since our ‘Simply Weekly’ collection changes were introduced, the borough’s recycling rates are going from strength to strength," he said.

Cllr Dallen is the chairman of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee on EEBC.

He added that it is anticipated central Government might raise the target recycling threshold to 60 per cent, and urged residents and councillors not to rest on their laurels but instead build on the recent progress.

Cllr Dallen highlighted food waste and the separation of different recyclable materials as key to the next phase of EEBC's strategy for building on their recent successes.

"There are already suggestions that the (Government's) target will increase still further, possibly to 60 per cent...We’re now urging even more residents to recycle their left over food waste.

"The food deposited in the recycling caddy is anaerobically digested to become useful compost and the process also creates methane gas, which is safely captured and can be burned to generate electricity.

"We’re also asking residents to recyclable carefully. Putting contaminated waste (such as liquids) into your green bin can result in a whole lorry load being rendered unrecyclable

The message is clear...Check it out before you chuck it out," he said.