Recycling Roundup 27th August
The UK’s largest construction waste recycling plant has opened in WestLothian. The site in Livingston cost £3.8 million to build and is now fully operational. It will provide waste management and recycled materials to builders, construction firms, and contractors. The plant is expected to turnover £3 million per year and create more jobs.
The plant is owned by the Brewster Bros’ company who say that the main aim is to treat construction waste as a valuable resource and to save it from landfill. The company director added that the plant would shape the future of the recycling industry in Scotland and would be a ‘game-changer’ for the construction industry who can now dispose of their waste in a cost-effective and sustainable way.
Zero Waste Scotland said that the construction sector in Scotland produces nearly half of the country’s waste and that recycling the waste would play a big part in reducing that figure. It added that valuable resources can be preserved by recycling and that jobs can be created.
Hundreds of homes across North Somerset have not had their recycling collected this week, because of a shortage of refuse crews.
Residents living in the Backwell, Barrow Gurney, Felton, Long Ashton and Portishead areas put their green recycling boxes out for collection yesterday, only to find they weren’t collected.
41 roads were missed out, though people were advised to leave out their recycling on 17th August and were promised that it would be collected.
The council’s new waste collection service, which is managed by the waste contractor Biffa has been wrought with problems. Residents across North Somerset have been reporting countless missed collections of their rubbish.
Changes are being planned to improve the service and solve existing problems. Some collection routes are being changed and Biffa are bringing in two new vehicles so they can manage collections better. The changes will be in place by October.
The council say they are working with Biffa to make rounds more efficient and reliable and that residents will be informed in plenty of time whether their collection days or weeks are being changed.
There are concerns that Fife Council’s bid to get tough and increase charges at their recycling centres could lead to an increase in businesses fly-tipping their waste.
Getting rid of commercial waste, including illegally dumped waste, costs the local authority more than £1.5 million per year.
Councillors agreed that increasing charges for commercial waste would help them recover their costs. Other local authorities like Edinburgh and Dundee no longer accept commercial waste due to the costs, but Fife insist they want to help businesses, just not at a high cost to them.
The councillor for the environment said that the council has been effectively subsidising businesses who then get an unfair advantage over their competition as they can pass waste management savings on to customers. He insisted that the charges will only cover the council’s costs and wouldn’t make them a profit.
He added that there are private waste disposal companies who accept commercial waste, so businesses could shop around if they did not want to pay the increased council charges.
Businesses can dispose of their at 9 of the council’s household waste recycling centres. They must purchase a recycling ticket to do so. The council discovered that some businesses were dumping rubbish that was not covered by the ticket like landfill waste and some businesses weren’t even bothering to buy a ticket. This resulted in the council introducing measures at a cost of £200,000, including putting barriers on the site and giving recycling centre staff body cameras so they could catch out any businesses who were trying to play the system.
There will also be no pedestrian access to sites, traffic control measures will be put in place, and emptying wheelie bins at the centres will be banned.
It costs the council £1.96 million to operate their commercial waste service, but the sale of recycling tickets brings in just £94,000.
Increasing charges and getting tougher on businesses has seen the number of businesses with a ticket drop by 14% and a 12% drop in the amount of waste brought to recycling centres. This suggests that businesses are dumping their waste elsewhere or hiring unlicensed operators to do it for them.
The current recycling ticket system will continue until December and if the changes are approved by the council, they’ll come into force in January.