Cheshire County Council has saved £2.1 million by reducing the waste it sends to landfill.
The council has been able to free-up the cash due to a forecast 20 per cent reduction in landfill use, equalling about 50,000 tonnes.
There has been a significant fall in the amount of rubbish we are having to landfill, said the councils Environment Executive Member Andrew Needham.
This reduction compared to last years figure has happened for two main reasons. Recycling at our household waste recycling centres has more than doubled to 65 per cent under our new contractor H W Martin. This new contract has seen a 50 per cent reduction in landfill from the HWRCs. There have also been further improvements in kerbside recycling undertaken by the district councils, he said.
Cash to be used for roads
But the money will not go back into funding for recycling and waste services in the area because recycling is a dead duck, Needham told MRW. He explained that the authority had a surplus of recycled materials and said the income from recycling had reduced, adding that they were now paying for people to take it.
He said the council supported the findings of the recent IMechE reportwhich called for the Government to abandon its focus on recycling and concentrate on building more energy-from-waste plants.
Politically, dealing with waste is not easy, Needham said, there are no votes in it.
The authority is currently evaluating biddersfor its £1 billion, 25-year private finance initiative waste project, which could include mechanical biological treatment and EfW technologies.
Neeedham explained that the £2.1m will not go towards funding this scheme, which is due to finalise a preferred bidder early this year. He also explained that £2.1m was a small amount in comparison to the £1 billion needed for the PFI project.
Instead the £2.1m will be used to repair roads and pavements. Needham explained: Politically, most people are concerned about roads so it was a priority [at this time].