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Norfolk prepares for shared commingled collections

Norfolk will this week launch a county-wide system of household collections, with residents in seven council areas putting glass into commingled recycling bins for the first time.

The scheme comes into effect on 1 October and will be carried out by Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (NEWS), a subsidiary of Norse Waste Solutions.

Covering the entire county and involving seven authority areas, it is arguably the most comprehensive shared system in England. As well as Norfolk County Council, the councils that comprise the Norfolk Waste Partnership (NWP) are: Breckland, Broadland, North Norfolk and South Norfolk districts; Norwich City; and Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn & West Norfolk boroughs.

Several other counties have made progress on shared systems. Six councils in the Dorset Waste Partnership will launch the final stage of their shared arrangements on 13 October (Bournemouth and Poole are not included); Somerset has five (North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset not involved); East Sussex (minus Lewes and Brighton) has five; and there are smaller blocs of councils in east and mid-Kent.

NWP chair councillor John Fisher said the councils were “working together to revolutionise recycling in Norfolk”.

“The ability to recycle glass bottles and jars by putting them in the kerbside recycling bins is something that residents have told us they want,” he said.

“In negotiating the new contract for the MRF [at Costessy] we made this a requirement, and NEWS has made the necessary investment in the latest technology to make this possible. Glass bottles and jars can be mechanically sorted from the rest of the recycling to ensure the value of the various materials is retained and that the latest legislation on mixed collections is complied with.”

Collected material is being sent to the county’s main Costessy MRF, which has been extended by around a third, with additional equipment to sort plastic and glass.

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