A total of 4,000 homes across four areas of Northumberland will each receive an additional small wheeled bin for their glass bottles and jars, which will be emptied every four weeks from November 2020.
The proposals were welcomed by the authority’s communities and place committee at its meeting on Wednesday, October 7, although the decision-making cabinet still needs to sign off on the scheme next week.
But this seems likely to be a formality, with new council leader Glen Sanderson, who continues to have responsibility for the environment and local services, telling the meeting: “This is the next big step in improving our recycling rate, which is not nearly good enough.”
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Afterwards, he said: “Many people have expressed a desire to recycle glass from their home and our team has worked hard to design a scheme which we hope will benefit our residents, while helping to combat climate change and improve recycling rates.
“We are proposing to try this out in four areas of Northumberland, which have been selected for their urban and rural spread, range of house types and also proximity to a waste collection depot.”
During the 12-month trial, residents taking part will be asked for their feedback on the scheme, while participation levels, weight and quality of glass collected, and the cost of collection will be monitored.
If cabinet approval is secured on Tuesday, October 13, then work will start almost immediately, with leaflets sent out to residents in the following week and the bins due to be delivered by October 24.
Paul Jones, the council’s director of local services, said that while this was a tight time-scale, the first collection being in November was a good time to start with the Christmas period to come and garden waste collections dropping off.
This is hoped to be the first step in a major increase in additional recycling in Northumberland, with weekly collections for food waste and additional plastics and other items going into recycling bins all part of plans for the future.
Mr Jones explained that this is in line with the Government’s expected longer-term policy direction, which would require local authorities to collect a core set of dry recyclables and a weekly collection of food waste plus a 50%-plus recycling rate.
However, until the new obligations placed on councils and the funding support available are confirmed, it is not sensible for Northumberland to make expensive long-term changes to its waste services.
The glass collection trial would mean that the authority is in ‘the best possible position to bid for funding and to improve our services when the Government finally decides on its waste collection strategy’, he said.
Cllr Sanderson added: “The big issue for us has been the slow outputs from central government in terms of direction, funding and guidance, which is why we’re pressing ahead with this now. We had wanted to include other parts of it, but we’ve decided just to get going with it.”
Who is involved in the pilot scheme?
Area 1: Chapel Lands, Barresdale; Fairfields, Weavers Way, Swordy Park.
Area 2: Allerburn Lea.
Area 3: Lesbury.
Area 1: Low Stobhill, Stobhillgate, Grange Road, Heathfield, Moorlands, Edgehill, High Stobhill, Rookswood, Eden Grove, Whiteacres.
Area 2: Green Lane, Charlton Gardens, Broom Close.
Area 3: Whinham Way, Norham Drive, Thornton Close, Swinton Close, Felton Close, Chathill Close, Eglingham Way Eglingham Close, Acomb Close, Whalton Close, Glanton Close, Crookham Grove.
Area 1: Hartford Crescent, The Hartlands.
Area 2: Acorn Avenue, Russell Terrace, Hotspur Avenue, Demesne Drive, Horton Avenue, Windsor Gardens, Windsor Court, Swinside Gardens, South/North/West Riggs & Nether Riggs.
Area 3: Millfield North/South/East/West, Tower Close.
Area 1: Dean Avenue, Dene Park, Bywell Avenue, Dilston.
Area 2: Edgewood, Eastfields.
Area 3: Hornbeam Crescent, Anick View, Laurel Road.