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Thursday, May 30, 2024

“Costly” kerbside glass collections unlikely to be rolled out in Kirklees

Next week, a decision will be made on the council's interim waste contract

Kerbside glass collections don’t appear to be on the cards for Kirklees any time soon, as the council is set to extend its interim waste contract.

Back in 1998, the council entered into a 25-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) agreement which was extended by two years in March 2023. Due to “uncertainty” around government policy, the local authority will be extending the contract for a further three years, subject to cabinet approval next week.

Kirklees Council bosses had previously said they wanted glass collections to resume by 2024 but a report to next week’s meeting suggests that they are unlikely to be brought in any time soon.

Instead of “costly” doorstep collections, the council is looking to increase the number of glass bottle banks. As well as glass, the local authority will have to provide a recycling collection service separating plastic, paper/card, metal and food waste, from every household and business it collects from.

It is anticipated that the government’s requirement for separate food waste collections will come in from 2026.

Kirklees has been awarded just under £3m in government funding to implement this new service but this would only cover around 60 percent of the costs of containers and vehicles. None of the cash is allocated for depot or transport station infrastructure.

Following talks between council officers and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), special permission has been granted which means the council can delay the mandatory implementation of separate food waste collections to 2028, to align with the start of the new contract.

David Shepherd, Strategic Director for Growth and Regeneration for Kirklees Council, said: “There is still much uncertainty around Central Government legislation which will affect statutory recycling services, and without clarification we can’t invest or improve our recycling.

“Our existing contractual arrangements with the incumbent supplier are lower than the potential costs and risks of procuring whilst there remains uncertainty surrounding the unresolved issues of national obligations.

“This extension to the contract will allow for more time for clarification from the government around schemes such as Environment Bill; Simpler Recycling; Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR); Deposit Return Scheme; and the Emissions Trading Scheme, while allowing us to benefit from the current cost-effective interim contract.”

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