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Thursday, 4 July, 2002, 18:25 GMT 19:25 UK
City's kerbside recycling milestone
Wales' newest city is taking the environmental lead by bringing recycling to the doorstep.

Newport in south east Wales, has become the first council to provide all households in the county with kerbside collections for items which can be processed and used again.

It is being seen as a flagship exercise to raise awareness with Wales currently at the bottom of the European recycling league, with just over 5% of domestic rubbish re-used or composted.

County council staff delivered the 50,000th green collection box on Thursday - a major milestone in a commitment to promoting less wasteful living.


Most people are happy to separate rubbish - provided the facilities to collect the materials are made widely available

Environment Minister Sue Essex

The green box scheme is operated on behalf of Newport City Council by Newport Wastesavers.

It provides residents with a free fortnightly kerbside collection of recyclable materials.

Launched in 1998, the scheme has expanded gradually from 10,000 participating households to the present 50,000.

The local authority currently recycles and composts 12% of all municipal waste.

But a spokesman said it needs residents to participate more to ensure it achieves the minimum targets set by the Welsh Assembly's National Waste Strategy for Wales.

Entitled Wise about Waste, the programme has set minimum standards of for recycling and composting of at least 15% of all waste by 2003/04, and at least 40% by 2009/10.

Minister for the Environment Sue Essex said most people in Wales were committed to living greener lifestyles.

"Findings of a recent major public survey show that most people in Wales are happy to separate out the recyclable and compostable components of household rubbish - provided the facilities to collect the materials are made widely available," she said.

"Newport's green box scheme is a great example of the kind of initiative local authorities can introduce to make recycling easier for residents.

Fridges in Newport
Fridges have to be disposed of carefully

"Recycling more of our waste will deliver massive benefits for a better environment, as well as social and economic rewards for the people of Wales."

Newport is also carrying out a trial composting scheme to reduce the amount of waste buried in landfill sites.

More than 1,200 householders have signed up for the trial and are currently sorting their green waste at home before binning it.

Fridges

It is the second time in a matter of days that Newport has been in the news for recycling matters.

On Monday, the UK's first fridge and freezer recycling plant opened - Europe's largest dedicated fridge recycling facility, dealing with around 400,000 domestic and commercial appliances a year from across Britain.

Around 30,000 units are waiting to be disposed of in the city alone, following a change in European environmental laws.

MPs warned recently that clearing the backlog of Britain's discarded items could cost 40m.

The multi-million pound investment, unveiled on Monday, has been assisted with funding from the Welsh Assembly, and will receive units from across the UK.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales's Roger Pinney
"Families in Newport are learning exactly what to put into the kerbside collection boxes"
See also:

19 Feb 02 | Wales
21 Nov 01 | UK
20 Jun 02 | UK Politics
23 Nov 01 | UK
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