Recycling of plastics falling behind others
RECYCLERS in Halton are being given a poor service compared to other areas according to data gathered by the BBC.
It found that the borough sends just four types of plastic to be reprocessed whereas many others will deal with up to 15 varieties.
This placed Halton in the worst-performing bottom band of recycling council areas.
The data was collected from the Governmentfunded Recycle Now national campaign.
It said Halton will recycle the following types of plastic bottles: cleaner and detergent, milk, drinks, and toiletries and shampoo.
This means it is lagging behind other areas where plastic bags, food pouches, yoghurt pots, plant pots, polystyrene packaging and food tubs and trays will be collected to be reprocessed for re-use.
Statistics published by the Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs, last December indicated that 45% of the borough’s rubbish in 2016-17 was recycled or composted, while 46% was sent for incineration in energyfrom-waste plants, and just under 9% went to landfill.
Halton Borough Council has now said the range of residents’ waste that can be recycled is limited because Halton’s rubbish is dealt with as part of a contract between Halton and the other five Liverpool City Region councils and the Merseyside Recycling And Waste Authority (MRWA), and that it would cost too much to expand the level of service for a low amount of gain in terms of recycling amounts, that the benefit would be ‘disproportionately low’.
In addition, the local authority has said that widening the materials range would risk contaminating the main types of recyclable plastic
A Halton Council spokesman said: “The materials that are collected via the council’s recycling collection services are delivered to a materials recycling facility (MRF).
“This arrangement is in place as a result of the council’s partnership with the MRWA, which is contracted on behalf of the councils in Merseyside and Halton with its contractor Veolia, for the sorting and processing of co-mingled, kerbside collected dry recyclates at two MRFs on Merseyside – one at Bidston on the Wirral and one at Gillmoss in Liverpool.
“The MRFs accept and sort a wide range of specified dry recyclates from the co-mingled stream, which are then separated at the facility into their component parts for distribution to end reprocessing markets.
“Pots, tubs and trays, and bags and film are not currently accepted in collections in Halton and sorted at the MRFs for the following reasons.
“The cost of investment in the MRF technology necessary to separate these plastics, combined with the lack of any economically viable end markets renders the separation of pots, tubs, trays and bags and film uneconomical at this time.
“The total quantity of rigid plastics, which includes pots, tubs and trays, and bags and film in the kerbside residual bins is considered relatively low in relation to other materials: just ● over 5% of the total residual bin, based on the most recent kerbside waste composition analysis.
“The potential improvement in recycling rates if these materials could be sorted would therefore be considered to be disproportionately low compared to the necessary investment in the separation technology required, and compared to the cost and benefit of prioritising further collection investment on other materials.
“Further, and given the low value nature of rigid plastics, introducing such a collection would place additional risk of contamination to the higher value fibre outputs from the MRFs such as paper and cardboard which must reach particularly high quality specifications to enter the recycling market.”
Halton only recylces four kids of plastic compared with 15 in some areas