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Recycling in Newport suffers big blow

Recycling in Newport has suffered a hammer blow, with the city council’s in-vessel composting provider pulling out of the partnership scheme.

Although Wormtech has processed some 1,110 tonnes of council-collected waste since its orange bin scheme started last August, its decision to pull out is based around unwanted material finding its way into the waste stream.

While the embryonic FAB pilot initiative for food, cardboard and garden waste has proved a roaring success, reaching out to 10,000 homes already; collected waste has had to be diverted to new sites.

Wormtech has reported the presence of plastic food wrapping, plastic bags, a boiler panel, a car battery and bags of household rubbish contaminating deliveries. While the council has had to landfill the rejected loads, it says the figure amounts to just 2% of the total composted.

Newport’s cabinet member for community safety and sustainability Ray Truman said: “At a time when we’ve worked with residents to cut down contamination and were set to expand the pilot scheme to cover all orange bin holders, we’re disappointed that Wormtech has pulled out of the pilot scheme.”

The council says it has gone to great lengths to ensure that FAB waste collected is as contamination free as possible, with a team of officers despatched to check bins, issue warning letters, leave contaminated bins uncollected and even sift through waste before it entered Wormtech’s system.

And while representatives of the Environment Agency and Wormtech were invited to view stockpiled FAB waste, finding the level of contamination to be acceptable, the company still notified Newport City Council that it no longer wanted to process its waste.

Truman added: “We were keen to keep the pilot going and have managed to make arrangements to keep taking the cardboard from the 10,000 on the pilot, in addition to their garden waste, by taking it to an alternative site.

“All we ask is that residents ensure their orange bin does not contain the wrong waste, as this can have dire consequences for everyone.”

The FAB scheme has now been renamed the Cardboard Pilot, with the council no longer having an outlet for its food waste.

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