ENVIROMENTAL: Recycling deal could save unwanted carpets from being burnt
Redcar and Cleveland has become one of the first councils in the country to begin recycling unwanted carpets and underlay.
The council recently reached an agreement with the firm Green Birch Environmental, which recycles carpets and underlay for use within the equestrian industry, for a 12 month trial to take place.
The intention is to divert carpets, which would be collected as part of bulky waste collections or disposed of at its Dunsdale household waste and recycling tip, from being incinerated.
Such items would typically end up at the SUEZ energy from waste facility in Haverton Hill, near Stockton, which takes waste from Redcar and Cleveland and other councils in the area.
A report said an estimated 250 tonnes of carpets and underlay were disposed of at the Dunsdale tip each year.
It said: “Carpets are not currently recycled because there are no available outlets to recycle them.
“Therefore, they have been treated through the SUEZ Haverton Hill energy from waste [plant] under the contract we have with them.”
The report added: “This is the only company that has been identified within the entire region that actually recycles carpets and underlay, hence a competitive process involving other companies has not been undertaken.
“The council has ambitious improvements in recycling targets that it is required to meet.
“In addition, there is a carbon benefit to recycling materials, rather than sending them for treatment through an energy recovery process.
“This [agreement] is to allow for an initial 12 month trial to be undertaken for the recycling of these materials.”
The council, which agreed a new climate change strategy earlier this year, has set itself a target of increasing recycling rates from approximately 38% to 50% by 2027, although there has been criticism that this target does not go far enough.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed last month how the council had signed a short-term agreement with the Northern-Ireland based Re-Gen waste management group to recycle household items after a previous provider ceased trading.
Words: Stuart Arnold, Local Democracy Reporter
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