SWINDON Borough Council says it is making progress on its penultimate pledge to send less than 50 per cent of waste to landfill sites.

Promise 49 of the council's 50 pledges states the council's desire for at least 50 per cent of household waste to be recycled, composted or treated by 2010, while providing a kerbside recycling service wherever possible.

Since 2005, recycling levels have increased from 19 per cent to 33 per cent this year, meaning there is still an increase of 17 per cent needed in less than two and a half years.

A radical new recycling service was launched in the borough in July this year, and the council says it is delighted with the enthusiasm that has been shown for the new system so far.

Each week, nearly 60 tonnes of plastic bottles are collected, and the amount of other recyclables collected has increased by 60 tonnes a week. Refuse workers are reporting a significant reduction in the amount of waste being sent to local landfills.

Cabinet member for the environment Coun David Wren said: "I would like to thank all the residents of Swindon who have supported schemes to increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Since introducing the new plastic bottle recycling scheme we have experienced a surge in the amount of waste being recycled rather than just sent to landfill.

"The residents of Swindon are no longer throwing rubbish away without thinking instead more and more are taking positive steps to improve our environment and to reduce our landfill."

The council has even introduced a team of waste wardens to help people make the best use of the new services, and it is working in schools to ensure young people understand the need to recycle as much waste as possible. But not all people have welcomed the new set up and since the introduction of the new wheelie bin system, many residents, especially in the Central ward have been unhappy with the changes.

Shadow council leader, and Central ward representative, Derique Montaut, said: "I am still to be convinced that the council has begun to plan for those individuals in flats and those houses in multiple occupants.

"In Central nearly all the community has been angered by the failure of the council's lead member to consult with them over the real concerns they have.

"However, the biggest concern is the blanket view taken over which residents will be required to have wheelie bins."