Herefordshire plans switch to twin-stream

Herefordshire council is proposing an overhaul of its waste and recycling service as part of efforts to reduce costs and increase recycling.

This comes after the authority carried out a review of its waste services and outlined how it plans to hit several targets.

The council said the proposed changes will save costs by driving waste up the hierarchy

The targets include reaching net zero by 2030, reducing waste volumes by 36%, increasing recycling to 65% and hitting zero waste to landfill by 2035.

The changes would also help the council comply with the Environment Bill. Herefordshire operates in a mainly rural area with a population of 193,000.


Herefordshire is proposing:

    • an alternate three-weekly recycling collection service of paper and card on week one;
    • plastic, cans and glass on week two;
    • ‘all other residual waste’ on week three;
    • a weekly separate food waste service and fortnightly garden waste collection, in order to comply with upcoming legislation, would also be rolled out.

Currently, the council operates a fortnightly collection of residual waste and a commingled recycling collection.

A chargeable fortnightly kerbside garden waste collection service is also offered using sacks. However, this material is currently collected and treated as residual waste.

This will drive further savings for us on our disposal contract to help pay for the new collection service

– Herefordshire council 

The council said it currently costs £30.50 per household per year to collect and process Herefordshire’s recycling, and £62.70 per household per year to collect and treat Herefordshire’s residual and garden waste for disposal.

The changes would therefore cut costs as it would drive waste up the hierarchy.


Herefordshire is a largely rural authority; pictured Ross on Wye (source: Shutterstock)

A report outlining the changes will go before the council’s cabinet on Thursday (25 November).

Cabinet will be asked to agree to readvertise the service to the industry.

The council said: “If agreed, this will drive further savings for us on the cost of our disposal contract to help pay for the new collection service. The extension would also secure immediate environmental benefits. These include a 95%reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill from 20% to 1% from April 2022 and steps to ensure all recycled materials can be audited and traced if being sent outside Europe”.


Herefordshire council serves 193,600 residents in around 85,000 households, and recorded a 41.8% recycling rate in 2019/20, Defra figures show.

The council has a 25-year waste management contract with Mercia Waste Management, co-owned by FCC and Urbaser, first signed in 1998. This is due to expire in November 2023 with no option of an extension.

This includes waste treatment, recycling and disposal services, and the collection of waste is carried out by FCC Environment.

Public consultation

As part of the review, the council carried out a public consultation on proposals to hit its targets. This showed that 53% of respondents were in favour of the proposals.

The authority added that the current service is not compliant with the future legislative changes, and that the best alternative option is the three weekly, twin stream recycling service.


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