Residents will see changes to the way Epping Forest District Council`s new refuse contractor SITA UK collects domestic recycling. SITA UK takes over the five-year £22 million contract with effect from 5 November and will use compartmentalised lorries to collect dry and garden recycling at the same time. The different lorries will mean fewer `vehicle passes` – the number of times the contractor needs to send lorries down each road. The system will be more efficient and help improve the carbon footprint by reducing the total number of miles travelled by recycling collection lorries each year.
The new contract starts as Epping Forest District Council releases the latest impressive recycling figures. During the three months April to June, residents recycled 43 per cent of domestic household waste. Unaudited figures for July to September suggest that figure has increased to 45 per cent. Prior to the introduction of wheelie bins and seasonal alternate weekly collections, recycling levels were around 20 per cent.
SITA will take direct responsibility for collection of domestic waste from wheelie bins and street cleansing as well as recycling except for glass collection which will be sub-contracted via SITA to Lucy and Martin.
The refuse and recycling contract was put out to tender earlier this year. It followed extensive consultation with residents that confirmed the Council decision to make alternate weekly collection seasonal with weekly residual waste collections during the summer months. SITA was assessed against a range of other bidders. It is a well-established company that provides refuse and recycling collection services for many other councils.
Councillor Mary Sartin, Environmental Protection Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council is keen to reassure residents who might think their recycling was being mixed up in the new lorries. She said: Residents should continue to separate their dry and garden recycling into the different types of sack, safe in the knowledge that the tremendous levels of recycling being achieved in Epping Forest will continue. It may look as though all the sacks are going into one lorry but they are kept separate within it. Having to send fewer lorries to each address will also be good for the environment.
Councillor Sartin continued: Excellent progress has been made by the refuse service over the last year. We can all be very proud of the terrific levels of recycling now being achieved. Part of the challenge SITA faces is to make further improvements such as the extension of recycling facilities to people living in flats. Our residents have been fantastic in adapting to the new recycling systems. People clearly want to recycle more and I would like to thank everyone for all the extra effort they have made. Epping Forest is a green and beautiful district. By reducing our reliance on landfill rubbish disposal we aim to keep it that way.
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