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A GREEN MACHINE; Authority invests more cash in eco-friendly future for residents.

Byline: DAVID POWELL

AN ECO-friendly council which sold PS600,000 worth of recycled waste to re-invest in services last year is going even greener.

Conwy Council is gearing up for a massive increase in recycling as it prepares to extend its three-boxes-on-a-trolley scheme (dubbed "trolibocs").

Currently, it is trialling the trolibocs in 4,000 homes so residents in seven areas can use it for their cans, plastic, glass, paper and cardboard but it is set to be expanded to all 50,000 Conwy households - some getting recycling boxes for the very first time - next year, sparking a massive influx of more recyclable waste to the council's recycling depot at Gofer near Abergele.

So council chiefs have invested PS130,000 in new equipment at Gofer to pick out aluminium cans, puncture and squash plastic bottles and compact the materials into tighter bales.

Last year, the recycling depot handled 3,133 tonnes of paper, 1,080 tonnes of plastic, 3,168 tonnes of glass, 122 tonnes of aluminium cans, 481 tonnes of steel cans and 741 tonnes of cardboard.

All this material was sold on the open market and raised PS624,517. If residents had not separated this recycling, not only would the income have been lost, but it would have incurred PS820,000 in landfill costs.

With the rollout of rural recycling scheduled later this year and an increase in participation thanks to the trolibocs next year, Conwy is expecting an extra 2,000 tonnes per year of recycling material to come into the Gofer Depot. The new equipment will increase the amount of material that can be processed in a day by 30% and by producing heavier, more compact bales means more materials can fit on each lorry load, saving on transport costs.

Councillor Mike Priestley, Conwy's cabinet member for environment, said "This is another investment in new technology that supports local jobs. We have eight staff here at Gofer and 47 on the collection rounds.

"These are sustainable, green jobs funded by the sale of recycled material and savings on landfill.

"The amount of recycling we are getting from residents is incredible and we have to be thinking ahead to make sure we have the infrastructure to deal with it. Keep it coming - recycling is good for the environment and for our local economy."

Conwy's waste manager, Andrew Wilkinson, added: "Early indications are recycling weights are up between 10% and 20% in the trolibocs trial areas."

MY VERDICT The Daily Post's Dave Powell trials the trolibocs at home near Llandudno The trolibocs - a pile of three green boxes stacked on top of each other on a trolley, obviously - gets a three out of five from me. Let's start with the plus side. I must say the trolley's manoeuvrability is like a breath of fresh air. It replaces the three or four little trips to the end of the drive, for the kerbside collection, in one fell swoop. However, I found the flap for the box for the plastic bottles too small for the many two-litre milk containers we use. That box itself gets clogged up pretty quickly. I'm advised we should also use the white bag too, as an overspill, although it does get a rather black and dirty, doesn't it?

CAPTION(S):

Assistant waste manager Mark Cassidy at the bottle bank near Abergele and (above) Cllr Mike Priestley with bales of cans for recycling
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 26, 2013
Words:566
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