Bedford Borough Council took over
responsibility for the collection and disposal of waste in April
2009 when it became a unitary authority as a result of Local
Government Reorganisation. Prior to this Bedford Borough Council
was part of the Bedfordshire Authorities Waste Partnership (BAWP)
which produced its first Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy
in 2001. This strategy was refreshed in line with new legislation
in April 2006.
here to view the Bedfordshire Authorities Municipal Waste
Following the abolition of BAWP in April 2009,
Bedford Borough Council has undertaken to produce its own waste
management strategy under the Waste and Emission Trading (WET) Act
2003. The strategy is to:
- Reduce total waste arising, maximise reuse
- Reduce reliance on landfill in line with
European and UK legislation
- Increase public awareness of waste
- Achieve best value in all aspects of waste
- Manage waste in a way that takes account of
Bedford Borough Sustainable Community Strategy 7 Strategic
Other key considerations are the Waste
Strategy for England and Wales 2007, the Waste Review 2012 and the
waste hierarchy all of which provide a strategic framework to
promote sustainable waste management.
Current Waste Performance
The borough council’s overall recycling
performance was higher in 2012/13 compared to the previous year
with 39.2% of its collected household waste recycled. This was an
increase of just over 1% compared to 2011/12 (and over 7% higher
compared to 2008/09).
A breakdown of Bedford Borough Council’s waste
performance can be downloaded using the link below:
In achieving these recycling rates, the
authority sent just over 40% of total collected waste for disposal
to landfill, which represents 10% less waste sent to landfill than
the previous year. This is primarily due to the council’s new waste
treatment contract which provides for an alternative to landfill in
the form of MBT.
Our Waste Composition
To develop and deliver an effective waste
management service it is important to understand how waste is being
managed. Bedford Borough commissioned waste compositional studies
in January and November 2009 to get an in-depth understanding of
kerbside refuse and dry recycling composition. To
download information on the Borough’s waste composition use the
The studies show that not all of the
recyclable items available are being captured through the kerbside
recycling schemes, some recyclables are still being thrown away in
the rubbish bin. The following table shows the total capture rate
(a measure of how much of the “available” recyclables we are
actually collecting) for each material.
|Newspaper and catalogues
|Card (flat and corrugated)
|Ferrous cans and packaging
|Aluminium cans and packaging
It is estimated that if the capture of
household paper, plastic bottles and cans increased to 100% this
would divert an extra 8,000 tonnes of materials away from landfill,
and save up to £0.5 million in landfill disposal costs in addition
to helping the authority achieve a recycling rate of over 50%.
Landfilling waste is not considered to be a
sustainable option for the future, due to both environmental and
financial factors. Waste buried in landfills produces harmful
gases, which are a major factor in global warming. Landfill is also
an expensive means of waste disposal, with landfill tax charged on
every tonne. The landfill tax paid on each tonne disposed of in
landfill is currently at £72 (2013/14) and is set to rise by £8 per
tonne each year to reach a maximum of £80 by 2014.In addition, the
Borough Council must meet strict European Union targets for the
diversion of Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW). Failure to do so
may result in heavy financial penalties.
Current Waste Management
Recyclable materials collected in the orange
lidded bin and orange sacks are collected every two weeks and taken
to the Borough Council’s Waste Transfer Station and Material
Recycling Facility (WTS/MRF) at Elstow in Bedford. Some of the
recyclable materials are processed here while the remainder is
bulked up and sent for further processing to a Materials Recycling
Facility at Milton Keynes.
The Elstow site also receives rubbish that is
collected weekly from the kerbside in black bins or black sacks.
Most rubbish is bulked up and sent to an MBT (Mechanical Biological
Treatment) facility in North London. Some rubbish that is not
suitable for this process is taken to a landfill site in
The green garden waste collected from the
kerbside and at the Householders Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) at
Barkers Lane is taken directly to a site at Ravensden near Bedford
for open windrow composting. The product produced is PAS 100
certified and is used as good quality soil improver/ compost.
Further information on all of the processes
mentioned above is available at: Where does my waste go?
The Borough Council currently has one
Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) located at Barkers Lane,
which accepts a wide range of materials for recycling along with
excess residual waste from Borough households free of charge. For
more information visit the Waste Recycling Centre Page.
A list of current waste contracts can be
downloaded using the link below: