Threesome

PUBLISHED: 11:59 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

SIR, — Referring to the letter headlined What a waste (Herts Advertiser, June 5), I would like to clarify some of the points raised. The dedicated cardboard round was set up several years ago as a pilot with the collected material going to a local compa

SIR, - Referring to the letter headlined "What a waste" (Herts Advertiser, June 5), I would like to clarify some of the points raised.

The dedicated cardboard round was set up several years ago as a pilot with the collected material going to a local company prior to delivery to a board mill. It has proved popular with residents but as it is a high-volume, low-value material, it has also proved expensive to collect.

The Hertfordshire Waste Strategy has since been developed and agreed by all the local authorities. One of the fundamental principals is that a three-stream collection service will be introduced and developed throughout Herts. This is effectively one stream for refuse, one for dry recyclables and one for compostable material. The main reasons for this approach were sustainability and affordability as well as allowing Herts County Council, as the waste disposal authority, to plan for the disposal of these collected materials.

The Hertfordshire Waste Strategy is now being put in place with the final phase of St Albans District Council's "twin-bin" collection service being introduced later this year. This has meant having to end the cardboard-only collection service. To have an additional separate collection service for cardboard would mean providing additional vehicles and labour which would cost Council Taxpayers around £375,000 per annum for what is a low-value material.

The compactable material - i.e. card, cardboard, food waste and garden waste - placed in the green bins goes to Hemel Hempstead for bulking prior to delivery to a sealed vessel composting facility at St Ives in Cambridgeshire where it is processed into compost and sold on the open market. In 2007/8, this amounted to 8,600 tonnes, which is anticipated to increase significantly again this year. The collected material is definitely not taken to landfill.

ANDREW ROBERTSON,

Acting Head of Environment and Regulatory Services, St Albans City and District Council.

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