Following the administration of South Molton Recycling Ltd earlier in the year, Torridge District Council introduced its own in-house service, with many positive customer comments already received. There have been some fundamental changes in the process of collection, most notably with less sorting at the kerbside, which in some cases has had its own benefit in less material escaping and being left behind and accumulating on roads, pavements and other private and public parcels of land.
The processes introduced are hopefully fairly straight forward and Householders are asked to present their recycling by 7am on the day of collection.
As before they are also being asked to separate their recycling into different bags and boxes and these include; Green Box for cans, glass, plastic bottles – Green Bag for Paper and Brown Bag for Cardboard. A limited sorting is then undertaken at kerbside, with glass being separated from other materials into a separate compartment of the split bodied vehicles.
The latter process has admittedly caused some confusion with the general public who have for example questioned why they need to separate materials into different bags and boxes if most, apart from glass, is then co-mingled into the same compartment of the vehicles? The answer is twofold: firstly, it keeps the cardboard and paper materials dry and easier to process later on, but kerbside sorting may be introduced again at some point in the future and so for the time being the same methods of separation are being advised. The same types of materials previously collected should be put out for now but the Council will continue to review additions to this growing list.
The recyclable materials end up at the Coastal Recycling plant in Torrington where they are transported to a Materials Reclamation Facility (MRF) for sorting. The MRF has the ability to mechanically sort the materials by a system of magnets for tins, air blowers for paper and card, and other conveyors. All the materials are then baled and transferred to a range of companies for onward processing.
Councillor James Morrish, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Waste & Recycling commented:
“I am really happy that we were able to minimise the disruption to customers when we had to step in and set up a new service from scratch without notice. I appreciate that some people may have found the new process slightly confusing. Hopefully the further explanations will assure them that their carefully sorted materials are being fully recycled and that they are not going to landfill, despite less visible sorting at the kerbside. The Council is committed to improving the environment and we want to thank our customers for supporting this important objective”