07 February 2012

A strategy that will divert rubbish from landfill sites through using innovative ways of disposing of residual waste in the county will be discussed by Northamptonshire County Council’s Cabinet next week.

If cabinet gives approval a procurement process will begin which will invite companies to submit tenders for seven-year contracts to dispose of the non-recyclable waste.

Not only is it environmentally undesirable to keep putting waste in landfill sites but the cost of doing so is becoming increasingly expensive and is set to rise to £105 per tonne by 2014/15.

Projections suggest this could further increase to £134 per tonne by 2019/2020, which would mean the county council would have to spend £23million annually to have rubbish buried in the ground.

Significant steps have already been taken by the county council with district and borough councils in the county to divert recyclable waste from landfill sites.

New kerbside collection services for kitchen food waste are being rolled out in some areas of Northamptonshire and the authority has given planning permission to several anaerobic digestion plants to treat this waste.

Cllr Ben Smith, county council cabinet member for the environment, said: “The cost of putting non-recyclable waste into landfill is becoming increasingly expensive and that’s why we’re encouraging the waste management industry to propose solutions including innovative ways of disposing of this waste so that more of it can be diverted from landfill.

“The county council is not looking to invest its capital in new facilities, but make full use of the facilities that the waste management industry offers. In addition, the solutions we are looking for will not only have to be cost-effective but will also have to be environmentally sustainable too.

“Of course, the more we can all reduce, reuse and recycle, the less waste we will have to dispose of. Along with our partners in the districts and boroughs we’ve been having tremendous success with our recycling rates and I’d encourage everyone to keep up the good work as it not only makes environmental sense but financial sense too.

“This is a greener outlook for Northamptonshire’s waste.”

Cllr Chris Millar, chair of the Northamptonshire Waste Partnership, said: “On behalf of the Northamptonshire Waste Partnership we are delighted by the progress and partnership approach in developing and implementing the procurement strategy for the new contracts for Northamptonshire’s residual waste.

“The overall aim of the new contracts is to reduce the amount of waste being landfilled, for both environmental and economic reasons. In these current times of austerity value for money is incredibly important and waste management is a key service for the district and borough councils as well as the county council. Another potential benefit of these new contracts will be to stimulate local jobs and apprenticeships.”

Residual waste or ‘black bag’ waste is the material which remains after items which can be recycled have been removed.