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Feature: From tip to top

Lincolnshire County Council has challenging recycling targets to meet, and it was soon realised that its household waste recycling centres needed to be improved if the targets were to be achieved. This has been the driving force behind a programme of redevelopment on the sites the council owns.

The first site to be redeveloped was at Great Northern Terrace, Lincoln. In designing the layout, extra land has been used to help improve the safety of the site and to make it more user friendly.

Creating a split-level site was a priority, enabling the public to deposit their waste without the need to climb steps. Pre-cast concrete retaining walls have been used to enable a raised roadway to be installed. The waste is therefore deposited more quickly, with less effort and reduced queuing.

Recycled materials have been used in the construction of the site as widely as possible. The road surface includes foam base material, a substance made from recycled road mat-erials, while the fill between the concrete panels is crushed bricks, recycled from previous construction works. The bollards are made from recycled tyres.

To provide some protection from the weather, canopies have been installed around the busiest part of the site. Not all the site was suitable for canopies due to the overhead access needed to empty some recycling containers such as glass banks.

Another priority was the segregation of the public from service vehicles. Previously it was necessary to stop people using the site while lorries were servicing containers. Now public areas are clearly defined by the split-level design and use of coloured tarmac, allowing all users of the site to go about their business safely.

As Lincolnshire is a large rural county, transport costs are high. To help reduce costs, the use of compactors has been increased. The compactors used are a prototype design by Randalls, and include doors on the hoppers to improve safety. The site now compacts green waste as well as waste for landfill.

New measures have been introduced to tackle the problem of trade abuse. A height barrier has been installed that prevents large vehicles entering the site. Householders with overheight vehicles can unload in a designated area after permission has been given by an operative.

The site is also monitored by CCTV, including automatic number plate recognition, which can be viewed remotely.

This enables frequent users to be identified and followed up. Combined with use of declaration forms, these measures have significantly reduced the amount of trade waste being illegally deposited at the site.

The range of materials that are separated for recycling has been extended and now includes separate provision for wood, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass, cans, books and more visible textile banks.

This range will continue to be extended.

Such a state-of-the-art site demanded state-of-the- art signs and branding. The Recycle Now campaign has introduced a colour scheme and logo which is being adopted by many councils across the country. But as a picture speaks a thousand words, Lincoln was keen to use images as well. Collaboration with the Recycle Now campaign has resulted in the Great Northern Terrace household waste recycling centre being the first site in the country to trial the new range of images for the signs. The Lincoln site was selected from about 1,000 sites nationally.

The new signs ensure that everyone, regardless of what language they speak or how fluently they read, will know where to place their materials for recycling.

Martyn Hands,

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