Between April and October this year, the councils’ waste collection teams collected more than 43,000 tonnes of waste and recycling – the equivalent of 8,600 lorry loads.
Garden and recycling waste rose by 1,200 and 2,300 tonnes compared to the same time last year and refuse decreased by more than 600 tonnes.
The new figures mean Adur and Worthing now has a recycling level of 43 per cent – 41.4 per cent for Adur and 44.5 per cent for Worthing.
When the councils moved to highly divisive alternate bin collections in September last year, they set a target of 50 per cent recycling rate by 2020, in line with the national aim.
Despite missing target so far, the recycling rate is eight per cent higher than before the change to alternate weekly collections.
Councillor Emma Evans, Adur District Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “These figures are fantastic and they could only be achieved thanks to the dedication of our workforce and the commitment of residents.
“Householders have really met the challenge of reducing waste and recycling what they can in these unprecedented times. We now must keep going to try and push this figure towards the 50 per cent mark.”
Adur and Worthing’s switch to alternate weekly collections followed the lead of 75 per cent of other councils in the UK.
By reducing the number of collections, the councils’ aim was to encourage residents to think about what and how much they were throwing away as waste and how they could increase their recycling.
But detractors, particularly large families or people in apartment blocks, complained of waste building up and bin bags left to the mercy of seagulls and maggots.
Collection crews have continued to work throughout the pandemic, even during both lockdowns.
Worthing councillor Edward Crouch said thanked crews for their work under ‘extraordinary circumstances’.
“With so many residents having to stay at home for much of this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, I know people across Adur and Worthing are more grateful than ever before for the vital services our refuse workers provide,” he said.