The waste management partnership for Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham borough councils, alongside FCC Environment, said the “success” of the rollout has seen record improvements in environmental performance.
While the partnership didn’t disclose it’s exact recycling rate for 2020/21, it said all three councils surpassed the 50% recycling target it had set. In 2019/20, the partnership recorded a recycling rate of 43.5%.
This is despite food waste collections only being introduced by Reading in February, and Bracknell in March this year. Wokingham already had an established service (see letsrecycle.com story).
Re3 said that this has seen a “significant volume” of material diverted away from general waste. With 8,000 tonnes of food waste being collected and sent for processing via anaerobic digestion (AD).
The report added: “With food waste now being collected by all three councils, we naturally saw an increase in volumes sent for processing, which in turn had a positive effect on residual waste tonnages and recycling rates”.
Last year has proven that the hard work is paying off and despite the challenges the service could still be delivered with exceptional quality.
A joint statement members from Re3 said: “We are very appreciative of the efforts undertaken by FCC Environment to deliver this essential service to our residents during the COVID outbreak. The pandemic has not only posed a significant risk to our staff and residents but also generated an unprecedented volume of waste that was sorted to a high standard to meet the industry requirements.
“Last year has proven that the hard work is paying off and despite the challenges the service could still be delivered with exceptional quality. The councils could still introduce new services, such as the successful roll out of food waste recycling or be flexible to adjust to unexpected circumstances such as introducing a booking system at a short notice. This has helped us reach our 50% recycling target. We are very grateful to all residents for bearing with us last year, for respecting the staff and as always for doing their bit, so we can keep achieving our goals to benefit our communities and the environment.”
According to the report, there was a 37% increase in the volume of glass collected, over 2,700 tonnes of plastic sent for re-processing in the UK. Re3 described this as a “record breaking” volume of materials processed.
The total amount of collected waste in 2020/2021 was 180,629 tonnes, an increase from the previous years’ figures despite the early closure of the recycling centres due to Covid-19 in March.
Rory Brien, FCC General Manager, re3 contractor added: “This year has been unlike any other in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are very proud of our many achievements. Our key workers have all worked extremely hard through these unprecedented times, so we could provide an excellent service to the re3 residents and continue to sort, segregate, and process their waste and recycling throughout. Our employees hard work was recognised in the annual survey in which the site staff was awarded 98% user satisfaction score by the Recycling Centres users, which we are all very grateful for.”