Clifford Maylor expresses his frustration about lack of progress by local authorities in delivering facilities to sort materials for recycling (NCE 28 April - Councils waste plastic recycling opportunities). Here at Mole Valley District Council, we have done more than talk about this need.
Last month, the Mole Valley Materials Recovery Facility was opened near the M25 at Leatherhead. Each year this facility can sort at least 40t of mixed recyclables - including plastics - into its constituent types. It can then be re-processed and much of the plastic ends up reused in the manufacture of pipes and street furniture.
This council needs about a quarter of the plant's capacity to deal with material collected from local residents; the remainder is available for use by other local authorities and businesses.
The plant was built as a partnership between the council and Grundon Waste Management. Although a small local authority, the project is an excellent example of how imaginative procurement and commitment by the partners can produce effective results.
Together with our other initiatives in waste collection, the facility means we are well on track to achieve at least 36% recycling of household waste, and by providing access to the spare capacity, we are helping our neighbours to do the same.
I would urge other small councils to look seriously at what can be achieved by working with a good partner in the private sector.
Sue Threader (M), director of resources, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SJ