GUEST COLUMN: Recycling more will save the county council cash, by Coun Jim Creamer, chairman of environment and sustainability committee at NCC

STOCK: Recycling.
STOCK: Recycling.

It is in the best interests of both the taxpayer and our environment for us all to recycle more of our waste.

What a lot of people don’t realise, however, is that although the local district and borough councils collect our rubbish, it is the county council which pays to dispose of it.

And that costs money – currently £20 million a year for disposing of waste that is NOT being recycled.

Reducing, recycling and re-using not only saves valuable resources and protects us all from the effects of climate change, but it saves money which can be reinvested into other essential services such as child protection and care for the elderly and disabled.

Plans such as the introduction of a free kerbside garden waste collection in Ashfield are a step in the right direction.

But we all need to continue to play our part and change our buying and recycling habits.

Nottinghamshire generally has more recycling centres than our neighbours, and as a result we receive significant amounts of waste from outside the county.

It has been calculated that these waste ‘imports’ cost the county council, and indirectly our residents, up to £1 million every year in waste disposal costs.

That’s one of the reasons the county council is introducing a number of changes to our recycling centres, including a registration scheme so that in future only Nottinghamshire residents will be able to use them.

The scheme won’t be enforced until later in the year but residents can register now, either online or by calling our customer services team who will be available on the telephone to help with the process.

In addition, we’re also introducing a range of charges for people bringing what’s known as “inert waste” into the recycling centres – DIY waste such as rubble, plasterboard and soil.

We’ve always accepted small amounts of this without charge, despite not being required to by legislation, and this will continue for people arriving by car.

However, it costs the county council money to dispose of waste like this and so we are introducing a sliding scale of charges for people bringing such waste to the recycling centres in vans, pick-ups or trailers.

This will ensure the disposal cost of the materials is covered, allowing the council to continue offering this valuable service to residents.

People are always wary of change but these changes will help the county council save money which can be reinvested into other essential services such as child protection and care for the elderly and disabled.

The simple registration process can be completed online at the county council’s website, or by calling the customer service centre on 0300 500 80 80.

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