As previously reported, the county council is looking to offer kerbside collections for a number of extra items, as it seeks to recycle more than half of all its household waste, up from 36 per cent last year.
At Tuesday’s (February 12) meeting of the authority’s cabinet, members agreed to commit £14,000 – from the anticipated year-end underspend – towards a more detailed £35,000 evaluation of proposals for four-weekly glass collections, with the option of introducing collections for plastic pots, tubs and trays as well as food waste at a later date.
Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services, said: “It’s a real honour to be moving forward something positive which will make a real difference for our environment.”
The proposals were first discussed at last week’s meeting of the communities and place committee, where Coun Sanderson emphasised that this was a long-term plan, which would take place in stages over a number of years, with glass being targeted first.
And it was the collection of glass which councillors said had captured the public’s attention and sparked a positive reaction following initial reports of the proposed changes to kerbside collections.
Coun Veronica Jones pointed out that glass had previously been collected in the Castle Morpeth Borough Council area, leading to confusion when this was no longer provided by Northumberland County Council as unitary authority.
On food waste, she added: “We do create too much, so it would be good to do something with it.”
Coun Nick Oliver called for people to be encouraged to do more home composting as well, although when this was raised at last week’s committee meeting, it was explained that this is often not appropriate for cooked food.
The cabinet has also agreed to ‘demonstrate that the council is leading by example’ by carrying out an audit to identify measures to cut its paper consumption and improve paper recycling, as well as removing the use of single-use plastics where possible.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service