Cash boost for UK waste projects

Ten local authorities have been awarded a total of £8 million to implement a range of sustainable waste management projects.

Environment Minister Elliott Morley announced the further funding in an attempt to redirect even more waste away from landfill in the UK. He said the money would help the local authorities in question “take the lead” in improving waste management.

“Bringing down England’s large volume of household waste provides a challenge to Government, local authorities and industry,” Mr Morley stated. “Nearly 80% of the 28 million tonnes of municipal waste we produce each year is still sent to landfill site, but attitudes are changing – there is a new emphasis on minimisation, re-use and recycling.”

One of the local authorities chosen to receive an award, Bracknell Forest Borough Council already have plans for the £661,290 worth of funding, according to Councillor Terry Mills, Executive Member for Public and Environmental Services and Parish Liaison.

He confirmed that the council would be purchasing four new collection vehicles, which were scheduled to hit the streets of Bracknell next year. As well as being bigger than the vehicles currently used in the borough, two of the new ones will have separate compartments for cans, plastic and mixed paper and cardboard.

This will then allow the local authority to add cardboard collection to its recycling service.

“Many of our residents regularly separate their waste and use the kerbside collection scheme,” Cllr Mills said. “We are urging more people to realise the importance of separating waste and the introduction of these vehicles will make it easier for everyone to recycle more.”

Other local authorities to receive funding from the National Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund (NWMRF) include Hastings, Lewes, North Tyneside, Leeds and Northamptonshire.

Mr Morley pointed out that the number of applications for the funding clearly showed the growing interest in combating waste problems and finding sustainable alternatives to sending waste to landfill.

There are now 346 projects that have been funded around the country by the NWMRF since it was set up in 2002, and it has now donated £223.8 million to help support local authorities.

This completes the bidding rounds for NWMRF funding.

By Jane Kettle

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