Council says introducing separate paper and glass recycling service ‘not practical’


- Credit: Archant

New European Union guidelines on recycling collection are too expensive to be introduced in East Cambridgeshire, council officials have ruled.

The EU’s waste framework directive demanded that the council introduced separate collections of paper, glass, metal and plastic for homeowners in East Cambridgeshire before January 1.

But an assessment carried out by council officers found that the directive “would not be environmentally or economically practicable” because introducing it would cost an additional £260,000 a year on top of the current £320,000 a year it costs to run the wheelie bin service.

Under the UK government’s interpretation of the new EU rules, however, the district council will not be forced to make the changes because it can prove that introducing the new service would not be ‘technically, environmentally and economically practicable’.

Waste services team leader, David White told councillors: “An assessment has been carried out for East Cambridgeshire. This concludes that it would be technically practicable to carry out separate collections, but would not be environmentally or economically practicable.

“As the requirement is that all three criteria need to be met, it has been decided that separate collections of recyclables would be practicable for East Cambridgeshire.

“The conclusions mean that the council believes its current recycling collection does meet the requirements of the revised waste directive.”

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The council’s current wheelie-bin recycling service was introduced late in 2013 after it won a £5million pot of funding from the Government.

Since the bins were introduced, the district council has seen its recycling rate rocket from 33.37 per cent to 45.48 per cent, 116th best out of 320 councils in the country.