Service is among best in country

WASTE handling services in Northumberland continue to be among the best in the country as the county marks the fifth anniversary of its management contract with SITA UK.

Northumberland County Council signed a 28 year contract with the company five years ago when more than 70 percent of local household waste was sent to landfill and recycling rates stood at about 27 percent.

Since then, more than £90m has been invested in the county’s waste and recycling infrastructure, while 59 jobs have been created.

The amount of waste recycled now stands at 40 percent and around 92 percent of Northumberland’s household waste is diverted away from landfill, making the council one of the best performing authorities in the country.

Much of the waste is recovered in the production of energy at a plant in Teesside, with Northumberland contributing almost a third of the electricity generated.

SITA UK Regional Manager Richard Hinchcliffe said: “We have worked very closely with Northumberland County Council over the last five years to ensure the swift development of a number of key facilities. These have helped deliver a remarkable step change in performance to meet national and European waste targets and reduce the county’s reliance on landfill.”

Developments have included the construction of a £13m waste site at West Sleekburn, with an advanced recycling facility, and £12m investment in the county’s 12 household waste recovery centres, which has increased the different types of materials that can be recycled.

Council Executive Member for Neighbourhood Service and Highways Alan Thompson said: “Securing value for money and improving our environment are key priorities for the council and the first five years of our partnership with SITA UK has meant we’ve been able to deliver on these, as well as on the key infrastructure needed to meet our landfill diversion targets.

“Northumberland residents have also made a significant contribution through their participation in recycling services, but we can always do more. We now look to build on this success and with the services and infrastructure now in place look to help our residents get the most from the services provided.”