E&E Letters | Kerbside glass collection

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29 February 2016 

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.

Costs for kerbside glass collection [September 2011]

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

Further reading:
ECC Scrutiny Committee – Community: Economic and environmental impact of introducing a separate kerbside collection of glass in Exeter [06 September 2011]