News in Brief: 04/01/2024

With news on: Flexible plastic recycling pilot makes promising start; Recycling centre in Grimsby gutted overnight by fire; Household waste facility to close for at least two months; Rotherham councillors clamp down on fly-tippers with fines of £1,000.

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Flexible plastic recycling pilot makes promising start

The largest UK trial collecting plastic bags and wrapping from households has shown positive results.

Flexible plastics collection is set to increase, with legislation coming in 2027 mandating the collection

The pilot is the first stage of the Flexible Plastic Fund (FPF) in implementing recycling collections for flexible plastic waste, such as plastic bags, films and soft plastic wrappers, across the UK by 2027.

The initial stage aimed to get feedback from four local authority pilot areas before expanding over the next three years based on the findings.

Residents in the first four areas selected  – Cheltenham Borough Council, South Gloucester Council, Maldon District Council & Newcastle City Council – were issued with a new separate collection sack for plastic bags and packaging and asked to sort any flexible plastics into them and the results followed up with door-to-door surveys.

All the trial areas overall performed well – with high levels of recycling in the trial collection and high levels of satisfaction. The only issues were some suggestions to improve the quality or weight of the bags to avoid them blowing in the wind.

Those who received information about the new collection in other trial areas also performed strongly, and the majority of households surveyed reported high levels of satisfaction with the trial.

The Flexible Plastic Fund (FPF) been coordinated by a wide variety of organizations, including DEFRA, the resource charity WRAP, SUEZ, RECOUP, EcoSurety, in conjunction with local authorities.

The trial will gradually expand over the next 3 years to help inform government policy and the wider industry on the full introduction of recycling flexible plastics.

Bespoke Recycling Solutions is a 75,000 tonne processing facility

Recycling centre in Grimsby gutted overnight by fire

A blaze at a recycling facility in Grimsby, north Lincolnshire, has been partially destroyed in a fire that broke out in the middle of the night.

Seven fire crews tackled the inferno at the recycling processing facility, owned by Bespoke Recycling Solutions, just off the A180, only two days after Christmas.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service told Let’s Recycle the investigation into the incident is still ongoing and could not speculate on what the initial cause of the fire was.

Speaking on the scene station Manager Aiden Evans, from Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said firefighters had been “working very hard to get the incident under control”.

“The conditions were quite against us really with regard to wind and rain,” he said.

“Luckily the fire breached the roof area which allowed us to attack it from above.”

The website for Bespoke Recycling Solutions describes the site as a 75,000 tonne processing facility which is contracted for kerbside collections covering north east Lincolnshire.

The site will close on January 22nd and is not expected to open again until mid-March at the earliest. (Picture: Google Maps)

Household waste facility to close for at least two months

The Wingmoor Farm household waste facility, Bishop’s Cleeve, Gloucester, will close for essential repairs until March, Gloucester County Council has announced.

Badly eroded concrete and roads in need of resurfacing have necessitated the closure, which will also see a new access road built and a reuse shop where customers can buy items that will usually be disposed of.

The site will close on January 22nd and is not expected to open again until mid-March at the earliest.

The council has said completion of the work is dependent on the weather, which could add delays.

Nearby Fosse Cross and Oak Quarry recycling centres, which will remain open as usual during the closure, already have reuse shops, which are housed inside a shipping container on the same sites.

Cllr David Gray, cabinet member for environment and planning at Gloucestershire County Council, told Gloucester Live: “This essential work at Wingmoor Farm Household Recycling Centre will allow us to maintain this valuable service for people in the area.

“It will bring many benefits to customers, including a new reuse shop and improved drainage. We have done everything possible to keep the closure to a minimum and would like to apologise for any inconvenience.”

Rotherham councillors clamp down on fly-tippers with fines of £1,000

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has become one of the earliest adopters of new legislation to raise the maximum fine for fly-tipping to £1,000.

Rotherham Council said the maximum penalties gave local authorities the freedom to set the rates offenders should pay.

In July last year the Government announced new powers for local authorities to allow them to double the maximum Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for fly-tipping, from £400 to £1,000.

At a meeting on December 18th cabinet members for Rotherham agreed to increase fines to new the maximum limit.

Rotherham Council said the maximum penalties gave local authorities the freedom to set the rates offenders should pay.

Council leader Chris Read told the BBC’s Local Democracy Service: “These increases will mean perpetrators in Rotherham can face the toughest penalties possible in law.

“It should send a clear message to those who choose to selfishly break the law that we expect them to pay the full price for doing so.

“It’s not acceptable or fair on others to dump your trash wherever you like.”

In addition to the new powers, the government has launched a consultation on ringfencing the receipts from FPNs for litter and fly-tipping to fund local authorities’ enforcement and clean-up activities, such as spending the money raised from fining criminals on further enforcement activities.

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