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Waste collection changes proposed to boost recycling

Craven District Council has drawn up plans to change waste collection arrangements across the district, to save money and boost recycling.

The proposals will be put before the council's policy committee on July 19, and if approved will go to full council on August 2.

If councillors agree the plans, there will be a public consultation when residents can have their say.

The recommended proposal is to introduce alternate weekly 'co-mingled' collections of recycling and household waste, which would then be separated out for recycling afterwards.

This is expected to increase recycling rates by up to five per cent and make savings of between £111,000 and £162,000.

Councillor Carl Lis, lead member for Greener Craven, said: "This option would be simpler for residents to follow and would remove the blue bags which we know have been unpopular. Glass, cans and plastics would be collected fortnightly rather than monthly and we believe the easier arrangements would lead to an increase in recycling.

"The market for recyclables has collapsed in recent years and the council now receives significantly less in income from the sale of recycled materials. Whereas previously the council could offset some of the costs of operating the service from selling glass, cans, plastics and paper, we now have to pay to send these materials for processing, with an adverse budget swing of around £400,000 per year.

"Given the financial climate we are operating in, it is not sustainable to continue to operate the existing waste collection arrangements.

"If these proposals are approved by councillors we will be carrying out further studies, including a detailed assessment to ensure the proposed new collection methods are compliant with regulations, and consulting widely before introducing any changes."

A number of other options have been considered but this is the preferred option at this stage. If confirmed, co-mingling collections could begin by April 2017.

Currently, the council has a 42.1 per cent recycling rate, with a target of reaching 50 per cent by 2020.