Plans to cut contaminated recycling could cost Fareham council up to £500,000 per year

THE county council’s efforts to tackle contaminated recycling could cost Fareham Borough Council up to £500,000 per year, a councillor has warned.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 7:00 am
Picture: Melanie Leininger

Hampshire County Council (HCC), which is in charge of disposing and recycling household waste, is considering plans to to charge district and borough councils if the wrong items end up in recyclable waste.

The proposal would see the the full cost of rejected recycling passed on to the authorities responsible for waste collection from April 2021.

At present, HCC incurs the cost of having contaminated recycling sorted correctly. 

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Councillor Simon Martin, Executive Member for Streetscene at Fareham Borough Council, said the council was seeking legal advice on the proposals, which would have a 'major impact' on recycling within the borough.

He said: 'These proposals will have a significant financial impact on Fareham Borough Council, estimated to be approximately £500,000 per year, which will have a major impact on our capacity to improve the arrangements for recycling.’

Contributing to the problem of contaminated recycling are the 'outdated' processing facilities operated by Veoila for HCC, according to Cllr Martin.

He said: 'They are unable to collect several recyclable materials that are commonly collected in other parts of the country.

‘This can cause confusion for residents.

'A typical example is plastic pots, tubs and trays.

'These items are often clearly labelled as ‘recyclable’ and are collected in many areas of the UK but cannot be recycled at HCC facilities.'

But HCC could no longer afford to subsidise the current system, according to Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment. 

He said: 'In the national recycling league tables, not one district council in Hampshire is in the top half.

‘This demonstrates that there is considerable room for improvement.

‘What's interesting is the range of contamination rates across councils - some have half the rate of contamination as others.’ 

One in every five lorry loads of kerbside recycling from across Hampshire fails to meet recycling standards.

The Cabinet of HCC will vote on whether the plans should be part of the council's draft budget on Tuesday October 15.