ROCKETING values of household recycling waste will mean an extra £500,000 a year in council coffers for the next three years.
South Holland District Council has struck a new deal with an as yet unnamed firm to sell the plastics, glass and paper it gathers from the green bag weekly kerbside collections for £35 a tonne.
The contract comes into force in April, and it is hoped the half a million a year could rise further if council plans to encourage residents to recycle more are successful. At present, the council pays Mid UK Recycling to take away the collected green bags at a cost of more than £217,000.
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for waste management, green spaces and operational planning, was responsible for awarding the new contract and says it is good news for the district.
He said: “A couple of years ago we ran into problems with the recycling contractor because they went out of business so we needed to put something into place quickly.
“We made an arrangement with Mid UK Recycling which has worked very well for the disposal of recycling and we paid for that service.
“Since then there has been a massive change in the market. In the same way that metals have become quite a precious commodity, so have recyclable materials.
“Fortunately, the way we collect in South Holland, as in putting a variety of recyclables in one green bag, makes our recycling very attractive to the market so instead of us paying for someone to take it away, they are paying us for it.”
And Coun Gambba-Jones said the extra money the contract will bring in will help shore up vital services as the money is not “ring-fenced” for waste services and will go into the council’s general coffers.
He said: “This gives us the opportunity to do something with this money to maintain services given how much pressure there is on our budget.
“The next stage of the process is to look at ways of encouraging residents to recycle more to bring in even more money as every tonne we collect is worth £35 to us. It is really important and we now need to look at making an extra effort to get that message over.”