Portsmouth City Council set to launch kerbside glass collection as bottle recycling booms

GLASS could be collected from homes in Portsmouth for the first time under new plans being progressed by the city council.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 5:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 7:13 pm
Overflowing glass recycling banks in Fawcett Road, Southsea, as Portsmouth City Council warned it collected an unprecedented amount of glass over the festive period in December 2020. Picture: George Fielding

On Tuesday, cabinet members gave the green light for the expansion of kerbside recycling collections to include glass waste, dependent on the requirements of a new government bill.

Council leader, councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said the £600,000 move was ‘sensible and pragmatic’ and ‘an excellent way forward’.

Work to extend the council’s recycling service is being carried out ahead of the publication of the new Environment Bill. It is expected to increase local authority recycling requirements.

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Bottle bank used for recycling glass bottles and jars, being used by residents of Southsea. Picture: Allan Hutchings (093926-241)

Currently the council does not collect glass from the doorstep, instead providing banks across the city and at Paulsgrove tip.

Readers responding on social media have already praised the idea for being long overdue – but others are concerned about the prospect of broken glass on the streets.

One city resident wrote: ‘In other counties like Surrey you can put glass in your normal recycling bin. Great idea to make it easier.’

But others were concerned about litter, with one person saying: ‘(It) will make streets littered with broken glass making it dangerous for children and pets. Any bottles outside for any time get broken.’

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The amount of glass being recycled has increased since the start of the pandemic with 173 tonnes collected in February 2020 compared to 244 tonnes last month.

At the meeting on Tuesday the council’s cabinet agreed to progress plans for the new kerbside collection service.

The measures would require households to have one extra container with paper and cardboard separated from cans, plastic, cartons and – for the first time – glass.

The move will, however, be dependent on the outcome of the new Environment Bill, and the approval of a new waste facility to handle the recycled waste.

Cabinet member for environment, Councillor Dave Ashmore, said a business case for this was being drawn up and was expected to be ready later this year.

He added that the council was ‘keen’ to increase its recycling rates and that the new collections were expected to do this by about 10 per cent.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said door-to-door glass recycling collections were ‘an excellent way forward’.

‘We need to be doing this because we need to be doing this, not because of an Environment Bill that’s been hanging around for several years and seems to be stuck,’ he said at the meeting.

‘Being a city of, often quite narrow, terraced streets, we have particular issues with our transport network and this is a sensible and pragmatic approach.

‘I highly welcome that we are going to be able to recycle more and different things to push up our recycling rates.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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