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Recycling on the up in Harborough

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Introduction

Harborough District Council wanted to improve the recycling service in the district to increase up-take from residents whilst keeping costs down. In November 2012, FCC Environment put in place a new recycling package which would deliver significant cost savings for the council as well as driving up recycling rates.

Improving household recycling

FCC Environment has delivered a complete municipal service for Harborough District Council since 2009 which includes refuse, garden waste, and recycling collections and treatment as well as street cleansing and grounds maintenance.

In 2012, Harborough District Council and FCC Environment instigated a major contract review in order to address decreasing council budgets and increasing pressure to improve recycling performance.

As such, it was agreed to move to commingled kerbside recycling collections, with only paper kept separate by residents, instead of a source segregated scheme. This means a simple three-bin service for general waste, garden waste and dry mixed recycling. Paper is collected in aseparate caddie insert in the wheeled bin.

A key request from Harborough District Council was to introduce mixed plastic recycling. This was achieved and has proved a hit with residents. In the first months of the new collection arrangements, mixed plastics already made up to 15% of all material recycled.

The new package is making significant savings whilst substantially increasing participation from residents.

 

Street cleansing and garden maintenance

FCC Environment offers a fully integrated service for local authorities. As well as household waste and recycling collections, it provides other services such as street cleaning, grounds and highways maintenance.

Clean streets and public areas make people proud of their community and so FCC Environment targets litter, chewing gum, cigarettes and graffiti as well as clearing drains and removing fly-tipped objects across Market Harborough.

In addition, FCC Environment works with local community groups and national organisations such as Britain in Bloom to maintain public parks and green spaces. This includes the up-keep of hanging baskets and flower beds across the town.

A complete service

A spokesperson from Harborough District Council said: “The council recognised the need to change the waste and recycling collection system following the adoption of a waste and recycling strategy. Although the overall performance was good, our collection system had a number of limitations. FCC Environment was responsive to our need to change the system and worked collaboratively with the council to ensure that we devised a system that was “easier, greener and cheaper”. The service has been in operation for a number of weeks and the feedback from residents has been very positive. The amount of recycling has increased substantially and we look forward to reporting our improved performance in the near future.”

 

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