Waste Management

07.08.15

Bury recycling rates tops charts due to pioneer scheme

Bury has cut its landfill waste by nearly 4,000 tonnes and increased its recycling rate by over 10% since becoming the first council in the country to adopt a controversial three-weekly grey bin collection policy last year.

Figures for May show that the borough’s households have produced 3,923 less tonnes of grey bin waste, which cost £308 per tonne to dispose, since moving to collect landfill waste only once every three weeks.

The overall recycling rate is now topping 57%, an increase of more than 10% since the new collection regime started in October 2014.

All forms of recycling have contributed to this, with paper and cardboard waste increasing by 454 tonnes, metal tins and plastic bottles by 466 tonnes, and food and garden waste by 644 tonnes.

Cllr Tony Isherwood, cabinet member for environment, called the new system a success and said: “Residents should be proud of the part that they have played in improving Bury’s recycling rates. The cost to dispose of one tonne of grey bin waste has risen by £24 to £308 per tonne: huge costs which we can avoid if we recycle all we can and put the right waste in the right bin.

“This is vital when the council is facing yet another year of multi-million pound cuts. Every penny that we save through recycling is a penny less that we have to cut from other frontline services.”

The policy has also apparently motivated a general interest in recycling, with around 10,500 residents signing up to receive bin alert emails as a reminder for the collection days.

They have also made around 600 recycling pledges since the introduction of the new service and have requested thousands of extra recycling bins.

But Isherwood added that despite “impressive recycling rates” the community must strive to push it as high as it can go, “towards 60% and beyond”.

“Two key things that everyone can do to help cut back on disposal costs is to only use the grey bin for waste that can’t be recycled and make sure any food waste is put in the brown recycling bin,” he said.

When the new service was introduced last year, Isherwood said the changes were necessary in order to recycle more and save money that “can help protect other public services”.

Rochdale Council is considering adopting the same scheme, while two councils in Scotland and Wales have already integrated the policy.

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