A MAJOR new waste recycling scheme in Chester is now up and running.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s new ‘Recycle First’ service – providing households with their first weekly recycling collection – goes live in the area from today.
The kerbside-sort system allows residents to recycle a vast range of materials ranging from glass, plastic and food cartons to small electrical items, mobile phones, textiles and cooking oil.
And a separate weekly kitchen waste collection will enable food scraps and leftovers, which currently make up one third of residual household waste, to be taken for recycling rather than landfill.
Teams have been working throughout the area over the past ten weeks to make the changes required to residents’ collection containers.
This has been supported by a major customer awareness programme.
Cllr Lynn Riley, executive member for community and environment, said: “The new service will boost recycling rates to more than 62 percent – potentially making Cheshire West and Chester one of the best performing areas in the country.
“By treating recyclable waste as a valuable resource, our partner May Gurney is maximising the quality of materials it collects to get the best possible price for them.
“This keeps the cost to the taxpayer down, providing savings of more than £50m over the 14-year life of the contract.”
The council has worked with May Gurney to develop a customer-focused service that allows residents to recycle as much waste as possible.
High levels of customer satisfaction are at the heart of the new service, with performance priorities based on issues highlighted by residents.
These include return of containers after collection, reducing missed collections and clearing of spills.
Cllr David Robinson, opposition spokesman for community and environment, said: “May Gurney has provided an eye-catching new fleet of bespoke recycling vehicles fitted with cutting-edge technology.
“This will allow the collection crews to keep the different types of recycling separate to minimise contamination.”
Households have received two new 55-litre recycling boxes, together with a 23-litre bin for kitchen waste. These will all be collected weekly.
A new 180-litre black wheeled bin has been provided for residual household waste.
The brown and blue bins that were removed as part of the transformation will be sold for recycling and income generated will be invested back into the new service.
Zak Shell, contract manager for May Gurney, said: “We look forward to working with Cheshire West and Chester Council and its residents to make sure this new service is a success.
“Our new service offers residents the opportunity to significantly reduce their waste and allows us to recycle material that would otherwise go to landfill.”
See full story in the Chester Leader