Households across Test Valley can expect to see major changes to recycling over the coming years, with a host of additional materials predicted to be added to kerbside collections.
Test Valley Borough Council is currently limited in terms of what it can collect in brown bins as the Hampshire recycling facilities that process the waste are unable to deal with some of the materials recycled in other local authority areas, such as thin plastics. But that looks set to change thanks to the Environment Bill, currently going through parliament, which seeks to level up recycling rates right across the country.
It is looking increasingly likely that from early 2023 residents will be able to include glass, thin plastics such as pots, tubs and trays, and Tetra Pak-style cartons in their recycling bins. And in further good news, the council anticipates that it will be able to offer a weekly food waste service.
Leader of the council, Councillor Phil North, is the authority’s representative on Project Integra (PI), which looks at recycling across Hampshire. He said: “We have a clear ambition in our corporate plan to give our residents more opportunities to recycle. Since I became the council’s PI representative in 2019, I have been persistent in my lobbying of the county council to get on with upgrading their materials recycling facilities (MRFs), where the contents of our brown bins are taken for processing. Thankfully the Environment Bill is now helping in this quest. Although less than six per cent of waste here in Test Valley goes to landfill, we can always do more. Particularly to improve our recycling rate.
“With an ever greater focus on climate change it is vital that we do everything we can to help people to recycle more and I firmly believe that by making it easier and collecting more at the kerbside we will be able to drive up recycling rates.”
Environment portfolio holder, Councillor Alison Johnston, added: “This is absolutely fantastic news and a huge step forward for Test Valley, the county and country as a whole. It is incredibly confusing for residents when they can recycle certain types of material at the kerbside in some parts of the country but not others. And this means that messages on packaging can be incorrect, which further muddies the waters.
“It’s fair to say that, collectively, we will need to undertake a huge amount of work over the next couple of years to implement these changes, but we are keen and ready to crack on.”