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22 September 2017

Cumbria on track for waste recycling targets

Cumbria County Council is on track to meet its waste recycling and composting targets, boosting the environment and saving the council money.

Latest performance figures presented to a meeting of the County Council’s Cabinet yesterday show the council is on track to recycle or compost at least 60% of all waste taken to its 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) throughout the county. HWRCs accept a wide range of household items, from garden waste and scrap metal to timber, plastic and electrical appliances.

The latest performance statistics also show: 

  • A projected reduction in the amount of household waste generated in Cumbria. The average amount of household waste per person is forecast to fall to 488kg in 2017/18, compared with 497.8kg per person in 2015/16, reversing a previously increasing trend. 

  • An increased amount of general (non-recyclable) waste is being diverted from landfill by treating it at the council’s two MBT (Mechanical Biological Treatment) waste plants in Carlisle and Barrow. The council is forecast to divert 94.6% of this waste from landfill to MBT in 2017/18, well above its 87% target. 

  • Up to 3,000 tonnes of street sweeping waste (leaves, debris etc) is forecast to be recycled or composted as part of a council trial during 2017/18.

The county council is working hard to reduce the amount of waste generated by encouraging people to reduce, reuse and recycle in their everyday lives. The council runs a series of successful initiatives, including offering home composting bins, food waste digesters and Freegle events encouraging reuse of unwanted household items. 

The council is also reaping the benefits of investment in mechanical biological treatment technology which has slashed the amount of rubbish sent to landfill. Two MBT waste plants launched as part of a council partnership with Shanks Waste Solutions now take much of this non-recyclable waste. The MBT process produces a Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) which can be used for energy production in a variety of facilities and industrial processes.

Councillor Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Environment, said: “Cumbria has a fantastic recycling rate and the waste plants in Barrow and Carlisle have been a key factor in the huge reduction in waste going to landfill and increase in recycling. This is not only good for the environment but also saves on landfill costs for the council. The latest waste recycling and composting figures are very encouraging and show the council’s waste prevention efforts are also paying off, with households in Cumbria on average set to produce less waste than in previous years.”

The county council has sold over 30,000 compost bins in Cumbria at a discounted rate since 2006.

The council has supported over 2,000 Cumbrian families to use real nappies through the Cumbria Real Nappy campaign, reducing their waste and saving over £500 each on disposable nappy costs

The council has sold approximately 5,000 food waste digesters at a discounted rate. Food waste digesters have the potential to divert up to 250kg of biodegradable food waste from treatment each year.

For more details on discounted food waste digesters and other composting offers, go to recycleforcumbria.org


Cumbria County Council is on track to meet its waste recycling and composting targets, boosting the environment and saving the council money.