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South Gloucestershire strives for 50% recycling rates

Proposals for increasing recycling rates and reducing landfill were given the initial nod of approval by South Gloucestershire Council's cabinet last week. It has agreed to a consultation process on the proposals, to take place before January 2006.

The proposals were part of a report that reviewed the first five years of a 25-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with waste management company SITA.

Its target was to achieve a 40% recovery rate of household waste by the end of five years, which the council said it was on track to achieve.

Proposals put forward included increasing the capacity of a planned In-Vessel composting facility due to the council's success with green waste collections; charging £15 for bulky waste collections if the allowance of one free collection a year is exceeded; replacing the existing civic amenity site with a new one; introducing schemes to educate the public on waste reduction and recycling; and investigating options for plastic bottle recycling.

It also proposes that specific measures will need to be taken to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste going to landfill, in recognition of the impending European Union landfill directive, such as weekly green waste and food waste collections and exporting material to energy from waste plants.

South Gloucestershire Council director of community services Steve Evans, said: "The challenge set by LATS targets is driving us to find new ways to recycle more through improvements in our existing contract, and we are also driving forward a sub-regional strategy for new residual waste facilities to share with our neighbouring authorities.

"These challenges are being faced by all councils and we are among the best performing local authorities in the country."

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