LANDFILLS in Sunderland could well be shrinking as the recession hits household habits.
Apart from reducing the amount of money people spend, the economic slump seems to have reduced how much people put in their bins.
New figures released by Sunderland City Council show that since the downturn hit, household waste has fallen by almost 10 per cent.
In 2007/08 almost 140,000 tonnes of waste was thrown out by homes across the city, but this has fallen to 127,855 tonnes between 2010/11.
There has also been a big change in recycling – it has increased by 13 per cent.
In 2007/08 just over 24,000 tonnes of waste was recycled. That has now increased to almost 27,500 tonnes this year.
Green Party treasurer for Sunderland Emily Blyth said: “These stats are very encouraging.
“We know people in Sunderland are very enthusiastic about recycling and as the recession has hit, I think people are moving away from being a throw-away society.
“We do still need to increase access to allow people to simply be able to get to a recycling point.”
Portfolio holder for attractive and inclusive city, Councillor James Blackburn said: “Since the economic downturn began there has been a continuing reduction in the amount of household waste being produced.
“However, since the introduction of the blue bins last year in Sunderland, there has actually been a significant increase in the number of households recycling.
“This increase in recycling figures has also been achieved despite changing national consumer and manufacturing trends.”
Coun Blackburn said: “The introduction of the blue bins also enabled us to collect 2963 tonnes of card and 1204 tonnes of plastic bottles for recycling.
“Likewise the quantity of glass being left out by households for recycling actually peaked at 5160 tonnes in 2010/11.
“Our recycling and collection programme also sends around 13,000 tonnes of garden waste for composting each year.”
Household waste: O6/07 142,763 tonnes, 07/08 139,163 tonnes, 08/09 136,355 tonnes, 09/10 133,233 tonnes, 10/11 127,855 tonnes
Waste sent for recycling: O6/07 21,371 tonnes, 07/08 24,045 tonnes, 08/09 20,723 tonnes, 09/10 22,616 tonnes, 10/11 27,365 tonnes