Council’s recycling almost eliminates use of landfill

lorries at Cledford

Cheshire East Council is sending virtually all black bin waste to be converted to energy.

When the council was formed in 2009, it sent 100 per cent of its residual waste to landfill – a total of 95,800 tonnes which was enough to fill 169 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Cheshire East has now reduced the total amount of waste sent to landfill to less than five per cent.

The council now transfers all its black bin waste to two energy plants outside the borough, where it is used as a resource to generate usable heat and power.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for environment, said: "We are truly leading the way at Cheshire East with our commitment to transforming our recycling and waste service and we have a fantastic infrastructure to move to a more sustainable waste management system.

"When you consider the journey that we have been on since the formation of this authority nine years ago, you can't help but feel proud of what has been achieved. And the public, of course, deserve a massive 'thank you' for making it all possible. Without the residents of Cheshire East being so committed to this, we would simply not be where we are today.

"We are grateful to everybody in Cheshire East who chooses to recycle and reuse waste so that, together with this change away from landfill, we can positively impact our environment for generations for years to come."

Cheshire East Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Sam Cummings
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 at 10:01 am
It's obviously great that waste isn't going into a landfill, however, are there any reports or links that can be provided regarding what impact this form of waste-to-energy has on the environment?

The 'positive impact on our environment' can only exist if this form of 'recycling' to create energy is green.
Nick Jones
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 at 12:03 pm
Credit where Credit's due, If the detail here is correct, this is a positive step that must be applauded !
Mark Goldsmith
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 at 12:22 pm
@Sam Cummings

I guess it depends on what shade of green you want.

The issue is that turning our waste into energy must be better than burying the stuff in the ground (either here or in China), where it will take hundreds of years to decompose and give off methane gas in the process.

Burning it in a modern facility means toxic gasses and metals can be filtered out and the steam energy created can be turned into electricity, reducing the demand on our gas fuelled power stations.

However, the only truly green solution is not to produce the waste in the first place.
Anna Meadmore
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 at 5:44 pm
I agree with Nick (!)
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 at 9:39 pm
"When you consider the journey that we have been on since the formation of this authority nine years ago, you can't help but feel proud of what has been achieved.....".

That is true, apart from the feeling proud bit.
Stuart Jackson
Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at 6:14 am
When Cllr Stockton has finished smugly telling us his authority is leading the way on transforming waste, he might like to explain how he's going to pay the new incineration tax that's his Government is about to introduce? He'll be burning all the paper and card we separate out next along with the plastic bottles too, all to satisfy the required tonnage he has to provide to sply this contract. Incineration is not and never will be a replacement for a proper reduce, reuse, recycle strategy.…
Sam Cummings
Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at 3:05 pm
@Mark Goldsmith

Totally agree - sometimes it's not possible to be totally green, I was just wondering if they were going to publish some stats or info on what this kind of recycling will do with regards to air toxicity as I'd be really interested to see!
Brian Fox
Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at 7:31 pm

Emissions from waste to power plants are governed under the EU waste incineration directive, some info on following link. It's not considered a significant contributor.

If I were concerned about effects of air pollution in the uk, the internal combustion engine would be my target rather than waste incineration.
Terry Roeves
Friday 25th May 2018 at 1:51 pm
This accounts for one of our three bins. Of the other two, then the plastics are a huge issue globally, with countries such as China not taking our plastic waste. The price paid has plummeted.
Some USA states have massive stockpiles awaiting processing somehow or other.
Some info on our other two bins would be helpful. What do we do with the content? Any money for the content?