Longshot Lane dump should improve recycling ratesBy Lewis Rudd
August 17, 2009
Recycling goods and ditching unwanted waste just got easier thanks to two multi-million pound revamps of local facilities.
Waste recycling management plants at Longshot Lane in Bracknell and Smallmead in Reading reopened last month, boasting state-of-the-art equipment, educational centres and a material recycling facility to help separate jumbled up materials.
Recycling household waste not only helps save the environment but reduces the financial burden on the taxpayer.
Since Bracknell Forest Council teamed up with Wokingham and Reading borough councils to create the re3 partnership, the levels of recycling carried out by homeowners and businesses across the three towns has increased significantly.
Just seven years ago the trio had a combined recycling total of just 11 per cent of rubbish.
After the authorities agreed a £610 million, 25-year Private Finance Initiative to improve waste management the levels have reached the 40 per cent mark – but the belief in council chambers is that this can only get better.
Councillor Rob Stanton, executive member for children’s services at Wokingham Borough Council and chairman of the re3 waste board, is delighted with the partnership’s progress.
He said: “The revamp was carried out for two reasons, firstly because they were run down and secondly because landfill is increasingly difficult to find around Berkshire and is expensive. Landfill tax is escalating and comes back on the taxpayer.
“The total amount of waste placed in landfill seven years ago was over 90 per cent, but the 39.6 per cent of waste which is now recycled between the three councils has brought this down to around 64 per cent, which is a massive reduction.
“This should result in huge savings for the taxpayer, but recycling is the absolute key for this to be a success.
“Any landfill we save can be sold on to generate money which can be put back in to the scheme.
“You really do have to bang loud about recycling but the amount of money thrown into the ground because of waste is pretty criminal. I am delighted with the percentage levels of recycling, especially when places like Wokingham had just four per cent recycling and Reading had two per cent prior to the agreement.”
Since securing the finance package the partnership has gone on to turn two local recycling centres in to first class management facilities boasting equip-ment which is the talk – and envy – of the country in ‘green’ circles.
But the success can only continue should products such as paper, tin, cardboard, beverage cartons, mobile phones and printer cartridges, be disposed of sensibly.
And the message is simple – waste less, recycle more.
Not only does recycling help reduce carbon emissions, it cuts down the use of landfill sites – which in return reduces the level of landfill taxes.
An agreement with Grundon Waste Management also means a large quantity of what is recycled locally is put through its ‘energy for waste’ plant in Colnbrook and then pumped into the National Grid.
The facilities at Smallmead in Reading and Longshot Lane in Bracknell are receiving recycled waste from more than 6,000 visitors each week.
The partnership is also trying to reduce its carbon footprint by redistributing its recycled materials to companies operating within a 25-mile radius.