For those who have questioned Pits n Pots motivation in raising the issues surrounding Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Enhanced Recycling and Waste Management procedures, we thought that you would be interested in reading the following article.
This article is from the Lets Recycle Website:
Recycling rates in Newcastle-under-Lyme more than doubled in the eight months after weekly food waste collections were introduced in March 2010, according to the Staffordshire council’s kerbside recycling collection contractor, Acumen Distribution.
The Northampton-based company has been running the Staffordshire council’s recycling collection contract since 2003 and began a new seven-year collection deal in February 2010. It has expanded the range of materials that householders can recycle at the kerbside to include plastics bottles and cardboard – a change introduced in April 2010
Together with an extension to its garden waste service to cover all properties with a garden, Acumen claims the changes increased Newcastle-under-Lyme borough council’s household recycling rate from the 26% recorded for 2009/10 to 55% for the period March to November 2010.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council are currently achieving just over 40% recycling.
This equated to 1,900 tonnes of food waste and 4,250 of dry recyclables being collected over the period, using a source-segregated approach, with Acumen operating nine trucks, four days a week to run the service.
The company also opened a new waste transfer station, at Burslem, in November 2009 to handle the recyclables collected. And, Acumen’s efforts were welcomed by Trevor Nicholl, head of recycling strategy and fleet services at the council.
“We have worked closely with Acumen Distribution over the past year to improve our recycling rates,” he said. “Towards these ends, Acumen has made a significant investment in specialised vehicles to enable us to expand our kerbside recycling collection service.”
Newcastle-under-Lyme’s kerbside recycling system involves householders separating dry recyclables, with sacks or bags being used for: cardboard; plastic bottles; paper; and, mixed glass, cans, aerosols and foil.
Residents can also recycle textiles using a bag, food waste in a caddy and garden waste in a wheeled bin, while residual waste is collected by the council’s in-house collections team using wheeled bins.
The food waste is then sent to the nearby Lower Ruele Bioenergy anaerobic digestion facility, which opened in May 2010 (see letsrecycle.com story) and paper is sent to UPM Shotton to be recycled into newsprint, while a spokeswoman for Acumen noted that “in the main everything is sold locally”.
The importance of the new service’s success was highlighted by Acumen’s managing director, Chris Doughty, who said: “Due to innovative recycle collection services set up by Boroughs like Newcastle-under-Lyme, the Government last month announced that it will meet the EU 2010 Landfill Directive.”
“Partners like Acumen are proving invaluable to councils as they provide local authorities with value for money and access to their extensive experience and cost-effective solutions,” he added.
The key fact regarding this article is that NULBC HAS achieved a recycling rate of 55% between March and November 2010.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council can only estimate that they MAY achieve the recycling target of 45% for 2015 and 50% by 2020.
NULBC had commissioned WRAP to produce a report at roughly the same time as SOTCC did.
The difference between the two was that Newcastle’s decision making process had FULL member involvement as opposed to SOTCC who had NO member involvement.
Elected members at NULBC were given the WRAP report, in Stoke it was buried and was never put before councillors.
Newcastle did not waste £1.6million of public money whereas Stoke duly purchased 84,000 blue bins that if elected members had had the opportunity to consider all the options of the WRAP report, chances are we would not have needed them.
NULBC are trend setting in this area SOTCC are bringing up the rear as the poor relation often does.
Cllr John Daniels has called upon the District Auditor to carry out a full investigation into this matter as he has even more concerns over certain aspects of the Waste Management and Recycling issue, particularly over the awarding on certain contracts and the price per tonne paid.