Pioneering plans to make Stoke-on-Trent a great working low carbon city are expected to be given the green light by cabinet later this month ratifying the city’s bid for millions of pounds of funding to further develop its waste strategy.
If approved, it means that approximately £150k of funding will be given to the city council in year one to help create its business case for weekly waste and recycling collections, the associated processing technology, and to investigate the potential impact the proposed changes will have on Stoke-on-Trent.
There will be no claw-back on this should the city council decide against taking the scheme any further and no commitment to weekly collections. At this stage it is a formal register of interest to explore the business case further.
The bid was submitted to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) who will provide the money from the Weekly Waste Collection Scheme Fund.
And if the project is taken forward, further funding will become available each year. This includes £2.5m towards new vehicles and £9m towards the cost of constructing a fuel and recycling preparation plant. This plant would radically improve the energy efficiency of waste collection and disposal methods within Stoke-on-Trent; taking more waste away from landfill which incurs a significant cost to the city.
The scheme aims to help with the long term ambition to achieve energy self-sufficiency by 2030; a key goal outlined in the council’s Mandate for Change and significantly improve the council’s recycling performance.
This business case will investigate the benefits of new technology to turn refuse into a more efficient fuel and recycling and the impacts this will have on the city.
Councillor Andy Platt, cabinet member for city services and green enterprise, said:
“Making Stoke-on-Trent an energy self-sufficient city by 2030 is both a bold and challenging proposal but one we have a duty to investigate.
“This project is about helping residents understand the full potential of the contents of their bin. We want people to think of their bin as an energy bin rather than a waste bin.”
“Our Mandate for Change sets out a number of innovative green projects including utilising hot water in the city’s mines which we know can make a difference to the lives of residents for years to come.”
In 2010/11 the council achieved a recycling rate of approximately 40%. The fuel preparation plant will be designed to remove any recyclable materials left in the grey bin. This will increase the city’s recycling performance even further and ensure that we don’t pay to burn waste that doesn’t burn.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council currently collects waste and recycling from 113,160 households in the city. Of those around 24,500 already receive weekly waste collections. Around 8 million bin collections take place every year with approximately 158,000 separate collections each week.