The East Riding of Yorkshire Council has just signed off on a 10 year deal to manage the waste that each one of us creates, and which is being hailed as a milestone.
It is a deal that has been made possible by the residents of Driffield and those all across the East Riding because of the way you have changed the how you manage your waste.
By joining forces with Hull City Council we are getting economies of scale and better value for money in the recycling and disposing of waste. It is a bit like a larger tin of beans usually being cheaper than two small ones.
The new contracts start next year and will deal with the waste from 21.5 million bin collections a year, 12 million of those in the East Riding and 860,000 here in the Driffield area. That is the number of times the blue, brown and green bins are emptied in just 12 months.
The contracts will also see the waste we all take to the 10 household waste recycling sites, like Kelleythorpe, being taken for recycling, as well as what is swept up off the street and fly tipped.
Another notable thing about these new contracts is that the waste put in the green bins will no longer be sent to landfill. Instead it will be taken to facilities where it will be turned into fuel to make electricity. This is all part of both councils’ plan to keep about 90 per cent of our waste out of landfill by recycling it, composting it or turning it into energy.
Of course, we have had a waste contract in place until now, but if ever you needed to see how things evolve you have only to look at waste. And that evolution has been driven by you.
The East Riding now has 150,000 blue recycling bins, 134,000 brown composting bins and 150,000 green bins. Ten years ago there was only the green bin and everything went to landfill.
Last year you sent for recycling a magnificent 93,000 tonnes from the bins and household waste recycling sites, including glass, paper, plastics, cans, cardboard, garden waste and food waste. A further 56,000 tonnes was sent to landfill costing council taxpayers £4m in landfill tax to the government.
Back in 2004, when East Riding households had just the green bin, 151,000 tonnes of waste was sent to landfill.
The new contracts will last 10 years and will enable us to take advantage of the many ways you are finding to reduce the waste you create and to recycle and compost even more of it.