West Norfolk recycling rate rises under new rules, says council

Latest environment news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Latest environment news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
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Residents are now recycling as much glass in their homes in a day as used to be collected in West Norfolk’s bottle banks in a week, according to council chiefs.

Householders have been able to put glass into their green bins since the beginning of October following a multi-million pound expansion of home recycling services across the county.

And, in a report to West Norfolk Council’s meeting on Thursday, environment portfolio holder Brian Long said an average of around 20 tonnes of glass was now being delivered to the council’s depot on Lynn’s Hardwick Narrows estate each day.

He said: “Demand for the new service has been good. Usual bottle bank collections were in the region of 20 tonnes per week.”

The council was criticised for removing bottle banks that it owned from service before the new home recycling arrangements came into force.

And RSPCA officials also warned they could lose out on donations if residents chose to recycle at home rather than using the bottle banks at its wildlife centre in East Winch.

But Mr Long said the new service meant that around 60 more tonnes of glass is being recycled in the borough each week, once the equivalent weight of the old bottle bank collections is taken into account.

As well as glass, residents can now recycle a wider range of plastic food pots and trays, milk and juice cartons, aluminium foil and trays and shredded paper and envelopes in their green bins.

And Mr Long’s report revealed that, overall, an extra 156 tonnes of recyclable material was collected in the first two full weeks of the regime, compared to the preceding fortnight, when the old rules were in place.

Following a question from Conservative backbencher Geoffrey Wareham about the potential costs of the switch, he told the meeting: “This is a very positive story and beneficial financially to this council.”

Additional recycling has long been sought as a green alternative to the costs of sending waste to landfill sites.

Mr Long added, in response to a question from Labour councillor Sandra Collop, that the need for extra green bins was also being assessed.

He said there has been an average of eight requests per day for extra bins since the switch and officers would look at whether the residents required either a larger bin or a second bin of the same volume.

Meanwhile, the council has also announced plans to expand its brown bin service for garden waste in response to public demand.

More than 1,370 residents are currently on a waiting list for a brown bin and Mr Long’s report to the council said an extra lorry, initially used for two days each week, will be brought in to provide extra capacity equivalent to around 1,200 new bins.

Mr Long said the move, which was made after proposals to pool the service with other local authorities was ruled out, would enable all those who are currently on the waiting list to be taken off it.

There are currently almost 20,000 brown bins in use across West Norfolk.