Updated: Wednesday, 3rd June 2020 @ 3:06pm

The future's green: Manchester recycling more than ever, as general refuse collection drops 30,000 tonnes

The future's green: Manchester recycling more than ever, as general refuse collection drops 30,000 tonnes

Exclusive by John McDougall

Manchester is recycling more than ever before, with general refuse collections dropping more than 30,000 tonnes in three years, MM can reveal.

Meanwhile rates of recycling for paper, glass, metal, plastic and garden waste have all risen as residents become greener and more environmentally aware.

MM obtained the statistics through a freedom of information request to Manchester City Council.

Manchester City Council executive member for the environment, Nigel Murphy, thanked the hard work and cooperation of residents in helping to achieve this rise.

“These figures demonstrate that Manchester residents find these services convenient and easy to use,” he told MM.

“Reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill makes good economic sense, because these figures mean we are on track to save millions of pounds per year in government imposed landfill levies.

“We now aim to build on this work over the next few years to boost our recycling figures even more.

“This includes educating residents in areas where recycling rates have not been as high, as well as making recycling easier for people living in high rise flats and areas of the city with tightly packed terrace streets.“

Brown bin recycling figures – typically for glass, metal and plastic – reached 12,176 tonnes for 2012-13, a rise of almost 2,500 compared to 2010-11.    

Garden waste is by far the most recycled commodity in Manchester, almost hitting 25,000 tonnes and experiencing an astronomical rise from three years ago, when residents contributed 15,617 tonnes.

The amount of card and paper reused – put in blue bins – has steadily increased from 11,999 tonnes in 2010-11 to just shy of 14,000 tonnes for the past municipal year.

Councillor Neil Swannick, chair of Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA), praised the response of Manchester residents in helping to save money in austere times.

“Recycling is not only good for the environment but it saves money too because it costs more to collect and dispose of bin waste than it does to collect and process recycling,” he said.

“Across Greater Manchester, residents are doing the right thing by reducing their waste and recycling more.

“We have seen recycling rates increase to 40% across the nine districts of Greater Manchester served by GMWDA and Manchester residents are doing their bit.”

The council is also making Manchester’s roads cleaner too, collecting 37,817 tonnes from street cleaning, fly-tipping, litter bins, grounds waste, charity refuse and disused fridges and freezers. 

Lucy Danger, chief executive of EMERGE Manchester – who deal with commercial recycling – feels the figures paint a positive picture throughout the city.

“We are delighted to hear that Manchester is progressing in its recycling rates within homes across the city with the populous,” she said.

“We have concerns about contamination but it is good that some progress is being made.

“We still think that there is more to be done in Manchester with recycling and there is always room for improvement.”

National Recycling Week begins on Monday and the environmental charity is launching a pop-up shop with tea and cakes at Brazennose House between 4-6pm on Wednesday 19 to celebrate it.  

For more information about EMERGE Manchester visit http://www.emergemanchester.co.uk/.   

Picture courtesy of Net_efekt, with thanks.

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