Council to spend £3m on recycling trials as Dewsbury depot at maximum capacity

Kerbside glass collections in Kirklees are likely not to return anytime soon as nervous council chiefs wrestle with making the right choice so as to ensure the borough gets Government funding for the expensive service.

By Tony Earnshaw, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Monday, 25th July 2022, 10:00 am

It’s just over a year since Kirklees Council announced: “Glass collections are coming back.”

Yet after asking the public to decide on how glass might be collected – such as via a “caddy” inside a green bin – a senior manager said there had been no solid preference. The council is now investigating options.

Will Acornley, the council’s head of operational services, said the decision was not an easy one to make, and a mistake would potentially be costly.

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Green bins on a Kirklees street

He said: “We’re going to be spending significant amounts of money and we want to get it right because we won’t be able to afford to do it a second time.”

He added: “Government keep kicking the can down the road on exactly what they’re asking of us. What we’re a bit nervous of at the moment is implementing something that may preclude us from getting funding.

“Unfortunately … the lack of clarity isn’t helping the situation, which is why we’re focusing more on trials … to be ready to be able to apply for different funding streams.”

Speaking at a meeting of the economy and neighbourhoods scrutiny panel (July 19) he warned that monthly glass collections, which ceased in 2013, had caused “huge operational issues” for the authority as well as injuries to binmen, who suffered from muscular skeletal issues with 25 per cent absence rates that made it “unsustainable”.

The council is getting ready to spend just shy of £3m on its waste strategy, which includes:

Offering rewards such as vouchers for groups of charities that recycle well.

Opening a “re-use” shop in Huddersfield.

Auditing the “thousands and thousands” of litter bins across the district and potentially move less-used bins to areas where they are needed via “rationalisation”.

Introducing new technology including hi-tech cameras to target fly-tippers.

Re-using bulky items such as furniture and white goods either in-house and delivering to a charity, or via a partner supported by the council. That could support council house tenants and the homeless.

Finding new depot space as current sites in Huddersfield and Dewsbury are at “maximum capacity”.

The decision-making cabinet is expected to rubber-stamp the plans at its meeting on August 9, which allow the £2.97m needed to be drawn down.