4 December 2019 by Caelia Quinault

Waste arisings slightly up in Greater Manchester

Waste arisings in Greater Manchester rose slightly in the two months after Suez UK took over the waste services on June 1.

Suez is managing waste from around 1.2 million households through its Greater Manchester contracts

But, this was offset by an increase in recycling and landfill diversion rates, which rose to almost 48% and 94% respectively.

A service update report presented to a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority shows that total waste arisings for June and July 2019 reached nearly 196,000 tonnes, slightly higher than for the same period the year before.

However, members noted that the year-on-year comparison was below 1% and had been impacted by very hot weather in the summer of 2018 which had reduced waste arisings previously.

On a more positive note, the report revealed that overall recycling rate under the contract increased by 0.5% to almost 48%.

Diversion

In addition to this, waste sent to landfill reduced ‘significantly’ with an overall landfill diversion rate of 94%. This was 4% better than the year before.

“Diversion levels continue to be assisted by good levels of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) being produced and sent for power and steam generation at the Runcorn Thermal Power Station (TPS)”, the report explained.

The report – written by Justin Lomax from the waste and resources team at the GMCA– also revealed that the 20 household waste recycling centres across Greater Manchester achieved a combined recycling rate approaching 42%.

“Efforts continue to communicate the importance of accurate recycling by residents”

Justin Lomax, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Suez took over the waste services and HMWRC contract in Greater Manchester in June (see letsrecycle.com story). The contract covers the ten local authority areas of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

Contamination

Looking at kerbside recycling sorted at materials recycling facilities (MRFs), the report explained that contamination had risen slightly and was approaching 18%, which was 0.5% higher than for this period the year before.

However, when questioned about this, members were told that contamination rates had since fallen, but noted the currently difficulty in finding markets for paper and card.

The minutes said: “More focus on communication on contamination of paper and card had taken place. Members noted the current market constraints and the demand for paper and card from cleaner streams. Currently, there was a 10-year low on pricing for paper and card.”

A member noted that China now only accepts material with contamination of 0.5% or lower which was described as ‘challenging’.

The report noted: “Efforts continue to communicate the importance of accurate recycling by residents, with ongoing liaison group meetings with WCAs and targeted campaigns.”

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