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North Lanarkshire confirms glass collection deals


North Lanarkshire council has awarded an 18-month contract to Alloa-based ACE Recycling Group CIC for the collection of glass bottles and jars from approximately 100,000 households in the region, the authority confirmed today (November 5th).

ACE Recycling Group currently collects glass from around 24,000 North Lanarkshire households as part of a trial separate glass recycling service, which has this week begun its roll-out to thousands of more homes across the region.

Since Monday (November 2nd) households are being provided with new blue wheeled bins with green lids for glass bottles and jars, which will be collected once every four weeks.

However, with the contract – which is valued at around £576,000 over its lifetime – only just finalised, ACE Recycling Group will not start collecting glass from further households until the week beginning November 16. In the meantime, glass recycling is being collected by the council itself.

In addition, waste management firm Viridor has been awarded a separate contract by the council to collect glass from North Lanarkshire’s bring sites and seven household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) in a deal estimated to be worth just under £20,000 over its 18-month lifetime.

Commenting on the new service roll-out, North Lanarkshire councillor Helen McKenna, convener of the environmental services committee, said: "Recycling glass has benefits for everyone by helping the council meet our recycling targets, creating and sustaining jobs, and diverting more waste from landfill which saves money and protects the environment."

A separate 18-month concession contract for the sale of around 5,000 tonnes of mixed glass material collected from households and HWRCs each year is also currently being procured by the council, in a deal the authority hopes could generate as much as £75,000 over its lifetime.

The winning bidder for this deal is set to be announced imminently by the council.

But, according to council documents published over the summer, in the event of the market “not responding as expected” the council would “revert back” to the collaborative Scottish waste framework deal for all 32 local authorities in Scotland announced last year.

North Lanarkshire council documents describe income from the glass treatment element of the Scottish framework as “currently very low varying between £0-£5 per tonne” and the authority therefore hopes procuring its own glass treatment deal could yield income of up to £10-15 per tonne.

One of the 35 contractors allocated in the Scottish framework is Viridor, which in September opened its £25 million North Lanarkshire glass recycling facility at nearby Newhouse.

The 200,000 tonnes per year capacity plant will initially process material from 17 local authorities in Scotland, but this could rise to 27 after glass firm O-I transferred its Scottish recycling operations to the plant.

The firm also holds the existing deal to process North Lanarkshire’s other dry recyclables after the contract was renewed in November 2014 for another two years, securing 18 jobs at the firm’s 60,000 tonnes per year capacity materials recycling facility in Bargeddie.

Worth almost £3 million, the deal sees Viridor separate and process 30,000 tonnes of plastics, paper, card and cans from 130,000 North Lanarkshire households each year at the Bargeddie MRF, which also processes recycling from South Lanarkshire, Midlothian, Aberdeenshire and Highland councils.

Currently, North Lanarkshire collects commingled paper, card, cans and plastic pots, tubs and trays in blue wheeled bins (with blue lids) fortnightly, alternating with residual waste. Food waste is collected in black and brown caddies every week, while garden waste is collected only during the summer season.

However, after the new glass and dry recyclables deals come to an end, the council has already approved the introduction of a ‘dual stream recycling scheme’ and a three-weekly household collection of bins from April 2017.

After this date, the 240-litre bins for mixed glass that are currently being rolled out will be incorporated into the new service as the second recycling container, which will thereafter include other items for recycling as well as mixed glass.

According to the council, the procurements for the recycling and waste streams for the 2017 dual stream system will be undertaken in 2016.