Community Sector & Local Authority Partnerships
There are many examples of successful partnerships between community sector recyclers and local authorities in the UK. Projects operated by the community sector include kerbside recycling, home and community composting, furniture reuse, children's scrapstores, educational work and promotion campaigns.
Two of the largest providers of kerbside recycling services are Avon Friends of the Earth and ECT Recycling, which are both constituted as non-profit making community businesses. Both offer multi-material kerbside collections for a wide variety of dry recyclables that includes paper, glass (with 3-colour separation), cans, plastic bottles and textiles.
Avon FoE employs more than 150 staff and provides recycling services to 350,000 households and 2,000 businesses in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Stroud District.The ECT Group, which includes ECT Recycling and Lambeth Community Recycling, employs over 240 staff and provides recycling services to over 450,000 households in London and Oxfordshire, which will increase to 500,000 with the start of a new contract in Waltham Forest on 2 April 2001.
BATH & NORTH EAST SOMERSET
In Bath & North East Somerset, the Council and Avon FoE provide weekly green box kerbside collections and mini-recycling centres for flats throughout the District. The green box service replaces previously monthly recycling collections, with the final phase of this expansion due to be completed by the end of March 2001.
In 1999/00 these services collected 8,374 tonnes for recycling with 70-75% of households regularly using their green boxes. A further 1,336 tonnes were collected through banks and 10,397 tonnes recycled from civic amenity Sites (including 4,624 tonnes of garden waste and 2,924 tonnes of building rubble).
Audit Commission Performance Indicators for Bath & North East Somerset in 1999/00 indicate that 0.33 tonnes of household waste was recycled per household with 0.9 tonnes not recycled or recovered, giving a recycling rate of 27%.
In Bristol and under contract to the Council, Avon FoE in partnership with SITA have expanded weekly Black Box recycling collections to 135,000 households and mini-recycling centres to 8,000 flats.
Avon FoE is a founder member of The Recycling Consortium, which also includes a furniture reuse company The Sofa Project and a materials reuse company for schools called The Children's Scrapstore. The Recycling Consortium works locally on waste issues, through Community Waste Action Groups, and undertakes extensive education and publicity work, including a high profile Rubbish Revolution campaign.
These activities have had the effect of doubling Bristol's recycling rate from 7% to 15%.
In Hounslow, ECT Recycling and the Council provide a weekly green box recycling service for 72,000 households, which collected 7,800 tonnes in 2000.
ECT Recycling has modelled recycling performance and socio-economic factors to ensure the efficient allocation of resources in this highly diverse borough. Other initiatives have included communication programmes for 'hard to reach' groups, changing contractual arrangements for caretaking in high-rise flats to facilitate recycling collections and the development of Community Waste Action groups. In 2001, there are plans for a trial green waste collection scheme for 4,000 households and an expansion of near-entrance recycling collection points for flats.
Audit Commission Performance Indicators for Hounslow in 1999/00 indicate that 0.17 tonnes of household waste was recycled per household with 0.79 tonnes not recycled or recovered (WCA wastes only excluding civic amenity Sites), giving a recycling rate of 18%.
Lambeth Community Recycling provides multi-material recycling collections for 73,000 low and medium rise households.
Lambeth also has over 40,000 households living in estates consisting of tower, mansion and deck access blocks. Over half of these are served by a near entrance recycling system located at 180 sites, which are established in consultation with residents.
An intensive marketing strategy implemented by Lambeth Community Recycling, the Council and Waste Watch in 2000 resulted in 15% more recycling and Lambeth's recycling rate increasing to over 12%, which is one of the highest for an inner London Borough.