Recycling pilot reduces landfill

A PILOT scheme to increase recycling in Boston has almost doubled the amount of waste being taken away from landfill, according to Boston Borough Council figures.

The green waste pilot, which involved a third of the borough provided with fortnightly kerbside collections for garden rubbish, saw the recycling rate shoot up to more than 50 per cent in those area – a vast increase on the usual 28 per cent.

The three-month trial has now come to an end, and the local authority is looking at whether it would be feasible to roll out the scheme across the entire borough on a permanent basis.

At a meeting of the overview and scrutiny environment and performance committee on Wednesday, the council’s strategic director Phil Drury said: “The amounts of waste were beyond our expectations. We felt we may achieve 700 tonnes of green waste, and we exceeded it by 151 tonnes. We had a very enthusiastic response from residents and a very high level of participation.”

If the scheme comes into full use, it is estimated it could reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by 3,000 tonnes a year – saving the council around £200,000.

In a survey following the pilot almost three-quarters of people who took part said they thought the scheme had worked well, and nearly 80 per cent said it encouraged them to put more green waste out than before - meaning it did not go to landfill.

One sticking point was the use of the blue bags for recycling councillors reported that a lot of ward members had commented that the bags were too heavy and they did not have anywhere to put them. Many said they would prefer another bin to a bag.

Coun Paul Kenny said: “We have to take the views of disabled and older people into consideration. The issues are with the weight and handling of it. There is an equal opportunities issue here.”

However, Coun Mike Brookes, portfolio holder for waste services, said the cost of providing new bins for every home could be extremely expensive.

He added: “I would love to be able to give everybody an additional bin to do it, but it’s going to cost half a million pounds. We have got to see if there is any way we can help to get there.”

The results of the survey are currently being analysed and the matter will come before the full council in January to be considered once again.