The project which began in March this year will see the final stages serve the whole of Stevenage’s 33,000 residents by October, including some of the region’s flats.
Each resident will be presented with two recycling boxes – one for steel, aluminium cans and paper; including magazines and junk mail but not card. This is sent to the Stevenage’s collection depot where it will be baled and sent to Aylesford Newsprint.
Aluminium cans are sent to Alcan, whilst steel cans are sent to Corus Steel Packaging Recycling which has just installed new equipment for steel sorting and baling at Stevenage’s collection depot.
Glass is collected in the other box, and this will be supplied to Midland Glass, where it is used predominantly for aggregates for road-use.
Boxes are collected once a week on the same day as household waste is collected. This is to prevent “residents getting confused or forgetting to put weekly collections on the same day as their refuse collection,” says Dave White of Stevenage Borough Council. All collections are being undertaken by the council itself.
Mr White is expecting to get a 70% participation rate from residents involved in the scheme, ascertained from a three-week survey of all properties in the area.
The net cost of the scheme, after material sold for recycling and recycling credits have been gained will be 250,000.
Projections for the scheme in 2003 are expected to reach over 6,000 tonnes of recyclables collected in the boxes out of a total of 34,000 tonnes of household waste collected by Stevenage for the year.
Waste analysis by Stevenage Borough Council states of the 6,000 tonnes of recyclables collected, 23% is expected to be paper; 9% glass and 3% cans.
By the 16th August this year, Council figures showed that since the scheme began in March 2002, a total of 584 tonnes of paper; 49 tonnes of cans and 295 tonnes of glass had been collected. This has boosted the areas’ recycling figures from 9% to 18% of recyclables collected for the region.
Stevenage Borough Council hopes to apply for second round funding from DEFRA’s waste minimisation and recycling fund to allow it to expand its recycling initiatives using green waste collection scheme as well as a closed vessel composting system for the area.