Recycling rates in south Norfolk have increased as council staff look to make savings and add more collection services.

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Figures discussed at a South Norfolk Council scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday revealed the recycling and composting rate had increased from 11pc of all household waste collected in 2000/01 to 42pc for 2011/12.

Bob Wade, the council’s environment manager and Andy Jarvis, the director of development and environment, said this rise in recycling was achieved through a number of measures, including a reduction in the amount of landfill waste collected per household by 7.4kg last year alongside an increase in household recycling and composting by nearly 20kg.

The quantity of street sweepings being recycled also rose by 100pc last year compared to the previous year with nearly 1,000 tons processed. Mr Jarvis said this helped the council to make savings as every ton of waste in landfill cost the council £100.

The council’s contract with the Costessey materials recycling facility is due to end in March 2014 and negotiations are currently taking place to secure an effective outlet for south Norfolk’s recycled materials from this date.

The officers also revealed the authority was working in partnership with Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council and Norwich City Council to try and secure funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for a pilot food waste collection scheme.

The committee’s chairman Margaret Dewsbury asked Mr Jarvis if he could provide figures for the cost of collection set against the value of recyclable materials, but he said he could not as recyclable market values were constantly fluctuating.

However, a report prepared for the committee suggested savings of between £600,000 and £800,000 could be made by making the waste collection service more businesslike, efficient and customer aware.

Councillor Keith Kiddie, cabinet member for environment and regulation, said: “This is a good news story. Costs are down, recycling rates are up and the level of rejects at recycling centres is down. The quality of recycling is the best in Norfolk and the revenue from recycling is the best in Norfolk.

“On balance, I think we are doing well, it is not perfect but I think we are going in the right direction.”

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