Improved recycling scheme an opportunity too good to waste

Ambitious plans to recycle more than 50% of its household waste have been put forward by Northumberland County Council.

Friday, 8th February 2019, 11:02 am
Glen Sanderson

As part of a long-term review of its waste strategy, the council is to carry out a detailed study into the potential to undertake kerbside glass collections, pots, tubs, trays and also food waste.

The council currently sends non-recyclable waste to a special Energy from Waste facility where it is burned to generate electricity for supply to the National Grid. This has helped to significantly reduce the council’s reliance on landfill disposal, with under 15% of all household and commercial waste being disposed of to landfill last year.

However, the amount of household waste being reused, recycled or composted by the council has plateaued in recent years, dropping slightly to just over 36% in 2017/18.

The authority is keen to progress improvements in its waste recycling services and is set to agree detailed studies into four weekly glass collections, with the option of introducing plastic pots, tubs and trays, as well as food waste collections at a later date so that at least a 50% recycling rate is achieved.

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While initial research undertaken to support improvements in recycling services has so far been provided free to the council, the cabinet is being asked to commit £14,000 towards a more detailed £35,000 study over the coming months.

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for Environment and Local Services, said: “Getting better at what we recycle isn’t just a local or national issue, it’s global and we all have our part to play.

“We need to move with the times to respond and adapt to current and impending changes.”

The strategy will be discussed by the council’s cabinet this month.