South Tyneside cuts rubbish sent to landfill by 66%

South Tyneside Council has reduced the amount of rubbish being sent to landfill by two-thirds since 2010, according to new figures.

The authority said that over the past year, the amount of waste going to landfill has fallen to just three per cent.

This was largely down to more material that cannot be recycled being sent to an energy-from-waste facility in Teeside, which opened in April 2014 as part of the £250m Strategic Waste Partnership between South Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland councils.

Of the 77,000 tonnes of municipal waste collected in South Tyneside, around 67,000 tonnes is household waste. The remainder comes from commercial services.

Around 39 per cent of household waste is currently recycled, reused or composted.

Waste recycled through the council's blue bin and caddy collection service, which sees dry recyclable material such as paper, bottles, cans and plastic packaging collected from kerbside, increased by three per cent in the past year.

Unwanted toasters, kettles and hairdryers plus many other small electrical can also be recycled in the blue bin. Alternatively, they can be taken to the Electrical Drop Off Point at the Recycling Village at Middlefields Industrial Estate, South Shields, which contributes almost seven per cent to the borough's household waste recycling rate.

Cllr Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: "We are delighted that the amount of waste sent to landfill has been reduced so dramatically and that we are seeing more and more recyclables collected from the doorstep across South Tyneside. This is a significant achievement.

"The remaining waste that cannot be recycled is treated at the Teesside facility and converted into energy, which is exported to the National Grid. The electricity produced is enough to power more than 30,000 homes in the area.

"The switch to fortnightly bin collections three years ago has also been seen as a key element in driving up recycling rates and helping the council to move towards its target recycling rate of 50 per cent by 2020.

"We would encourage residents to continue supporting our efforts by taking advantage of the services on offer across South Tyneside, particularly by recycling as much as they can."