Pupils from Kettlesing Felliscliffe Community Primary School saw first-hand the changes taking place in how we recycle our waste when they joined the fifth birthday celebration of their local North Yorkshire County Council household waste recycling centre (HWRC) today (Friday 4 November 2016).
The West Harrogate HWRC in Penny Pot Lane was opened by the county council in November 2011 to take pressure off the other Harrogate recycling centre, located on Wetherby Road, which was struggling to cope with the volume of waste from the growing town. West Harrogate also eased the traffic congestion at the Wetherby Road site, where demand had been such that at peak times there could be queues onto Wetherby Road.
West Harrogate now accepts between 400 and 500 tonnes of waste each month. About 15,000 tonnes of the waste accepted by the site since it opened has been composted, reused or recycled, which is 68 per cent of the total taken by the site. These figures are in line with forecasts made when the site opened.
The site at West Harrogate is a split level site, which makes it easier for customers to deposit materials. The design means people can stand on the higher level and drop their recycling materials and waste into skips, rather than climbing up stairs to do so. It also allows the site to remain open while servicing of the bottom yard takes place.
The site has taken the pressure off the Wetherby Road site, Harrogate HWRC, with the monthly waste taken there falling from more than 1,000 tonnes to about 600 tonnes. Easing this pressure has given Harrogate staff more time to help people with their waste to increase the amount of recycling, along with reducing frequency of servicing at Harrogate HWRC.
County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Waste Services, said:
West Harrogate HWRC is an excellent example of our commitment to recycling. By constantly improving the services we offer residents we are achieving an impressive reuse, recycling and composting rate from materials brought to our sites. The new site has also enabled us to improve customer service through better access and freeing staff to give more time to advising customers.
It is important to let young people, such as the pupils from Kettlesing Felliscliffe Primary School, which is the school nearest the recycling centre, see for themselves the difference they can make both now and in the future.
The site has introduced innovations which have since been extended to other sites. The county council’s contractor, Kier, used the site to trial bailing cardboard and plastic bottles to compress the waste, so reducing the cost of transport and CO2 emissions from vehicles. This is now operating at seven other sites. Kier also invested in a jumbo roller that crushes green waste, wood, cardboard and plastic bottles, increasing the amount that can be transported in a single container.
Julian Tranter, Managing Director of Kier Environmental, said:
Kier is committed to ensuring that the highest possible levels of reuse and recycling are achieved.
At West Harrogate HWRC we have installed balers to compress waste, which has reduced the number of loads that are transported and this therefore reduces the impact on the environment.
Engaging the local community with the recycling process and getting everyone on board is key to increasing recycling rates, we are therefore delighted to welcome pupils from Kettlesing Felliscliffe Primary School to give them an insight into the great work being done at West Harrogate HWRC.
The children who visited the site were aged between seven and 11, and all seemed to enjoy the experience.
It was amazing. I didn’t know a recycling centre could be such fun to look at.” Tabitha added: “I liked the big crushing machine that crushes all the waste
I never thought a recycling centre could be really fun. I really enjoyed the glass bottle bit where we found out that glass is 100 per cent recyclable.