Coun Jane Scullion, Leader Calderdale Council: Keep up the good recycling work
By Coun Jane Scullion, Leader Calderdale Council
We just take it for granted that our waste and recycling collections happen regularly, and never really notice until it goes wrong. And that’s how it should be with a good council where local politics is about quietly working away behind the scenes, with no fuss, no drama, just getting on with making Calderdale a better place.
Some facts and figures. In our borough there are around 144,000 scheduled waste and recycling collections each week, equating to almost 7.5 million per year. Each household receives about 78 collections per year (52 recycling, 26 waste), which is 50 per cent more than residents in our neighbouring authorities receive. And we currently have more household waste transfer stations – known as tips to you and me – per head than any of our neighbours.
We are quietly proud that our recycling rate has consistently been around the 50 per cent level, more than the national average (44 per cent) and that regionally we are repeatedly placed amongst the top five performers of the 22 Yorkshire and Humberside authorities. More locally, we have had the best recycling rate in West Yorkshire over the last ten years.
A big thank you to you and your families for doing that sorting and filling of our recycling containers, please keep squashing those plastic bottles. And remember to keep the recycling clean, no nappies in the mix (!), so we won’t have the problems that nearby councils have with recycling being rejected because of contamination. We couldn’t do it without you, so keep up the good work.
Each tonne of waste that goes to landfill now costs us around £130 to dispose of as a council, so recycling must be the name of the game in cost terms as well as helping to save the planet.
Somebody scoffed at me the other day, saying that we just tipped our recycling into a big hole in the ground somewhere. Don’t know where they got that from because in terms of waste to landfill, over the last five years less than two per cent of CMBC waste has ended up in landfill, with this figure being under one per cent in the last threes years. This again places Calderdale alongside the very best performers nationally.
And did you know that around 50 per cent of your waste that would otherwise go to landfill is converted to Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), which is used to generate electricity from waste, and used in facilities at Ferrybridge which provide enough energy to meet the needs of 170,000 homes and businesses?
We have been an early adopter of best practice in Calderdale, and we were one of the first councils to collect food waste weekly. We were amused to note last month the new government announcement that councils should aim for weekly food waste collections by 2026. Glad to see them coming round to Calderdale’s way of thinking.
And finally, a big shout out and thank you to those workers who are out there in the dark and drizzle collecting our rubbish when we are tucked up in our beds.