E&E Letters | How do we fund glass collection?

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29 February 2016

How do we fund glass collection?

I notice that the local Tory election literature promises to introduce at the earliest opportunity kernside glass recycling.

Has this been costed?

Exeter City Council’s present system of recycling involves  a forthnightly collection of a range of materials (such as paper, card, aluminium and steel cans, aerosols and all types of plastic household packaging). This is delivered to the Council’s Material Reclamation Facility (MRF) at Exton Road where it is sorted and resold to help cover the costs.

Glass is not, and cannot, be included in the mix as the MRF is not designed to process it – the equipment would be damaged, the glass would contaminate other recyclates and , most importantly, some of the separation involves manual picking.

So the introduction of  a kerbside glass collection from each household would mean the introduction of a completely separate collection service.

I can see the benefits of this plan – there is the possibility that more glass might be recycled but at what cost?

Back in 2011 the City Council looked at this when the price of glass was high. They found to introduce a kerbside collection, they found that even the cheapest option of a monthly mixed glass collection would cost an additional £367,241 per year., In addition there would be capital costs of over £600,000 in the first year.

Can someone from the local Conservative team tell me how they could fund this grand plan, or is it a case of talk is cheap?

Richard Brimble
Alphington, Exeter


One thought on “E&E Letters | How do we fund glass collection?

  1. E&E Letters | 17 March 2016

    We need better recycling rate

    I’d like to thank Richard Brimble for his recent letter [How do we fund glass collection?, 29 February 2016] for reminding us of Exeter’s very poor recycling rate of just 35%.

    Incidentally we at home recycle 95% of our ‘waste’.

    He has obviously done his homework on the costings of roadside glass collection and he is quite right in saying it isn’t cheap.

    The upside is that a massive 33% of the energy that is used to make a glass bottle can be recovered by sorting and recycling. Once glass goes to landfill [post incinerator] it is lost for ever.

    Interestingly Clackmannashire Council in Scotland have a kerbside glass collection which costs each resident just £5.30 per annum. Their recycling rate because of this was 49.% in 2010-11.

    There is also a European Directive requiring us to recycle or recover 50% of our waste by 2020.

    Hard choices, Mr Brimble!

    Alan Jones
    Mayflower Avenue, Exeter


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