The county council may investigate the provision of a kerbside glass collection as part of a review of its recycling service this year.
A report to Tuesday’s meeting of the communities and place scrutiny committee, by the council’s head of waste and fleet management, Paul Jones, states that ‘while the council’s existing kerbside recycling service is cost-effective, has high user-satisfaction ratings and achieves a good recycling rate, there is an understandable public desire for the collection of glass at the kerbside’.
Currently, the system features two bins – general waste and mixed recycling – which means the collection costs are minimised, as the same staff and vehicles can be collect both.
Glass has to be taken to recycling centres or bottle banks.
In 2009, the unitary authority took over glass collection as a responsibility from Castle Morpeth Borough Council, but the operation cost £100 per tonne of glass, which had a resale value of £30 per tonne.
Other issues include the need for different vehicles and higher maintenance costs for vehicles and sorting facilities due to the abrasive nature of glass.
However, under under EU law, the UK has to achieve a 50 per cent household waste-recycling rate by 2020 and increasing the rate may involve or extending the range of materials being recycled.