Cllr Bryan Jones, Cabinet Member for County Operations said:
“We are delighted with the response of our residents to the waste changes; a 66% recycling rate is phenomenal. Although the changes caused controversy, we were always confident that they would deliver a huge improvement and these figures prove that. Overall waste is down by 12%. General rubbish (known as residual waste), which residents dispose of in the grey bags, is down 30% and recycling tonnages are up 30%. Our residents’ hard work in making these changes work is not only good for the environment, it is also saving money as sending waste to landfill costs us over £120 per tonne.”
The rapid improvement in our kerbside recycling rates has led Viridor to end its contract to provide bottle banks around the county. The banks used to collect over 600 tonnes of glass a year. But with the success of the kerbside scheme the banks now struggle to collect 100 tonnes. Because of this, and the fall in price of the value of recycled glass, it is no longer economic for Viridor to continue the service.
Cllr Jones added:
“I would like to thank our residents for taking to these changes so quickly and enthusiastically. But I know we still have a way to go. We know there are still some black bags being put out, or more than 2 grey bags being used. But this by far the minority and we’re always more than happy to help residents with their recycling. It is sad that the glass banks are being removed, as in the past they were a great way to help people recycle long before kerbside collections started. But times have changed. We cannot expect to have high levels of recycling through both the red and purple bags and through the recycling banks. Viridor have provided an excellent service, but it is a sign of the times. Recycling will continue to evolve. At the moment our focus is on cementing the early success of our kerbside changes and continuing to work with, and support the residents of this recycling county to truly put us on the map as the best recyclers around. “