Nuneaton and Bedworth consults on commingled service

Nuneaton and Bedworth borough council is considering switching to a commingled kerbside recycling collection, ahead of a new ‘in-house’ materials recycling facility (MRF) being built.

The survey comes as a new MRF is being built, installed with auto sorting technology

The council — which serves around 128,000 residents and recorded a 38% recycling rate in 2019/20— is one of eight councils behind the in-house MRF being built near Coventry.

The MRF will be “one of the first in the world” to feature artificial intelligence at the centre of its operations, and will cost in the region of £35 million once complete (see letsrecycle.com story).

It is hoped the plant will be operational by 2024.

The Conservative-run council has now launched a survey asking residents for their views on potential changes to the kerbside recycling system ahead of the MRF becoming operational.

In the survey, residents are asked how they would feel about the removal of the separate caddy for cardboard, and whether a commingled service would enable them to recycle more volume.

The council said, however, that a commingled collection “may not happen” and it is just “gathering the public’s feedback at this time”.

Residents are also asked what they currently do with excess recycling when containers are full.

Currently, residents in Nuneaton and Bedworth have a separate container for carboard and paper, and a brown lidded bin for all other recyclables.

Recyclables are currently processed at an HW Martin operated MRF in Leeds.

Options

The council said: “This survey forms part of a wider joint MRF partnership project with local councils and the creation of a new regional recycling facility in Coventry.

Residents in Nuneaton separate carboard and paper into a separate container

“As part of the project, we are looking at options for the kerbside recycling service. We want to find out if the service can be improved to make it more efficient and better for customers. We want our residents’ feedback on the current service and their thoughts on moving to a combined kerbside collection i.e., the paper/cardboard caddy removed, and all items mixed.

“We would love to hear any suggestions on ways we can improve the recycling service, or ideas that would enable us to recycle more.”

MRF

The £34.45m Coventry MRF is currently under construction following the decision that Nuneaton and Bedworth along with Coventry North Warwickshire, Rugby, Strafford, Solihull, Walsall and Warwick councils would bring the sorting of recyclable waste in-house, because of rising private sector costs.

Being installed with artificial intelligence systems, the MRF will be able to automatically sort commingled waste streams coming in from Nuneaton and Bedworth.

The MRF will be operated by Sherbourne Recycling Limited, a newly established, wholly owned local authority company, and have the capacity to process 175,000 tonnes of waste a year.

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