BANBRIDGE District Council has picked up yet another accolade for its recycling achievements, this time receiving the award for ‘Best Local Authority Recycling Initiative’ at the prestigious Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management, held on Tuesday 1 May in the Landmark Hotel, London.
The ceremony was attended by the Chairman of the Council’s Environmental Services Committee, Councillor David Herron and its Operations Manager Eric Morton. The project which led to this success involved the development and introduction of the new kerbside recycling collection service for local businesses and schools, which commenced on 1 April 2011.
Councillor Herron hailed the achievement as a first for Northern Ireland and commented: “Banbridge District Council is delighted to be blazing the trail for recycling generally and in this particular instance, local authority led commercial recycling services. For a council area like ours, with a fraction of the population and budgets of most other local authorities across the UK, to receive such an accolade is really tremendous.”
Banbridge District Council has long been proud of its sustainable waste management credentials. Whilst many initiatives over recent years have led to rises in the district’s municipal recycling rate to over 51%, the Council identified a need to improve the commercial recycling rate.
In April 2011, a new ‘one pass’ kerbside waste and recyclables collection service was introduced for all commercial customers. This service enabled the weekly collection of organic waste and alternate collection of mixed dry recyclable waste using a new innovative split body refuse collection vehicle.
In the first full year of the new service, the Council went from sending all of its kerbside collected commercial waste to landfill, to being able to recycle 52% of all commercial waste and so saving the cost of the service to customers by an average of 15%.
In the first two weeks of April this year, the recycling rate among commercial customers rose dramatically from 38% to 60%. The Council hopes if this trend continues, together with the new revised collection fees introduced to further promote recycling, the costs to schools and businesses will see a further significant reduction in cost compared to when all waste was being sent to landfill.
David Lindsay, Director of Environmental Services, thanked local schools and businesses as well as Council staff involved in delivering this new service saying: “This is just part of the jigsaw we are trying to piece together to propel Banbridge District to the very top of the UK sustainable waste management league. So watch this space!”
Now in their ninth year, these awards are renowned for showcasing innovation, dedication and success in recycling and sustainable waste management.