Having spent endless hours chairing meetings over five years to help design and implement Stroud District Council’s current waste and recycling scheme, it is great to see Stroud recognised as the least wasteful place in England (and the place with the country’s second highest recycling rate). [SNJ story January 12]

Genuine collaboration went into achieving this and I would like to publicly thank my fellow members of the cross-party working group: Cllr Keith Pearson (Con), Cllr Chris Brine (Lab) and Cllr Ken Tucker (LD), all the exceedingly patient and hard-working council officers involved over the years, the brilliant Ubico staff and, of course, all the residents of Stroud District who have embraced recycling with such gusto.

Stroud district residents are so good at cleaning and putting the right materials in recycling bins that virtually all Stroud’s materials are recycled in the UK, saving natural resources, energy and carbon emissions - and creating jobs in the circular economy. Perhaps all those meetings, disagreements, compromises and endless photos of me with yet another recycling bin were worth it.

Simon Pickering

Retired Green Party Councillor and chair of Stroud District Council environment committee