Polmont landfill closure will cause recycle dip

Avondale landfill site in Polmont
Avondale landfill site in Polmont

Falkirk Council will suffer a dip in its recycling rate because of the closure of the treatment facility at Avondale.

The authority is tied into a contract with Avondale Environmental Ltd to dispose of and treat its residential waste until August 2015.

However, now that the Polmont-based materials recycling unit has closed, the council will not be able to recycle as much waste as normal and will send rubbish to landfill at Avondale on an interim basis.

Councillor Craig R. Martin has said that he was optimistic that Falkirk could still make up for the loss of the facility.

He said: “The sort facility at Avondale used to take what was in the green bins, and pull out plastics or metals or anything that could be recycled and then the rest could go to landfill.

“Because we no longer have that facility, which is very unfortunate, it will mean about a four per cent drop in our recycling rates.

“Since about 2007, four per cent has been our average annual recycling gain.

“But there are plans over the next few months to launch a new campaign to encourage people to keep recycling and explain ways they can do this.

“We’re hoping that this will help towards recovering the recycling rate.”

The £20 million state-of-the-art recycling plant closed in May with the lose of 70 jobs. The company blamed challenging market conditions for the closure of the site which opened in February last year.

Avondale has now offered to keep taking Falkirk Council’s waste and dispose of it at its landfill facility for no extra cost.

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “We would urge local people and businesses to continue to recycle via their blue bin and food caddies as these services are continuing unaffected by the Avondale situation. They are the major contributor to the area’s excellent recycling performance and the continued cooperation of households is welcome.”

The local authority is also reserving its standard right to take action for breach of contract.