Midlands road sweepings will be recycled

A new process to recycle road sweepings has been started to save seven councils money.

Warwickshire County Council has led on procurement of a contract which it says will save the authority about £400,000 a year over seven years.

The authority claims it will also boost the county's recycling rate by at least 3%.

It covers Coventry and Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Solihull, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Leicestershire.

A new processing facility, run by SITA UK in Wolverhampton, will handle up to 30,500 tonnes a year from seven authorities - Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council, Staffordshire County Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Herefordshire Council, Worcestershire County Council and Leicestershire County Council.

Avoid landfill tax

Councillor Alan Cockburn, Warwickshire County Council's portfolio holder for sustainable communities, said: "It is almost unheard of to have seven neighbouring councils signing up on the same contract and we are justifiably proud that we have achieved such a groundbreaking deal.

"The signing of this innovative contract means that we will be diverting road sweepings from landfill and avoiding escalating landfill tax which is set to hit £80 a tonne by 2014."

The Wolverhampton plant will recycle 98% of the material from the sweepings, including sand and grit plus organic material, which can be composted.

The recycled sand and aggregates can be reused in road construction, pipe bedding materials or blended with rock salt and used as grit on roads in the winter months.

Composted organic material is suitable for blending with soil in land remediation projects.

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