Provided by Sulo, the two Iceberg systems consist of underground 1,280-litre wheeled bins, with only a “receiver unit” visible on street level for the collection of mixed glass.
Elite Environmental MD Paul Mintern (left) with council member for environment Godfrey Daniel and waste & recycling manager Peter Hooper (right) with one of Hastings' new Sulo Iceberg systems
Once the new unit is full, hydraulic equipment powered by a nearby lamp post lifts the underground wheeled bin so the glass can be collected by the borough's contractor Elite Environmental.
The systems have been installed in Hastings Old Town and St Leonards, where conventional bottle banks were “out of the question” because of reasons of space and aesthetics.
Mixed glass from the East Sussex borough is currently recycled into an aggregate material used in the construction of roads.
Peter Hooper, the council's waste and recycling manager, said that the council is aiming to put glass recycling facilities within walking distance of every household in the borough.
Mr Hooper said that conventional bottle banks used elsewhere in the borough were not suitable for Hastings Old Town – a picturesque conservation area – or St Leonards, where terraced housing means space is very limited. In both cases, on-street bottle banks could also have created a noise nuisance to residents living nearby.
Commenting on the new system, Mr Hooper said: “It is proving very popular, and is being used regularly and properly. We are currently collecting around 8.5 tonnes of recyclable glass from them every month.”
Hastings recycled just over 10% of its household waste in 2002/03, with targets to recycle 12% by 2003/04 and 18% by 2005/06.