Recycling rates up with eco-friendly street sweepers

Cllr Gill Mitchell and council staff with the new sweeper machines SUS-170124-103102001

Cllr Gill Mitchell and council staff with the new sweeper machines SUS-170124-103102001

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New mechanical street sweepers in Brighton and Hove have proved to be eco-friendly - with more than 90 per cent of ‘street sweepings’ now being recycled.

Brighton and Hove City Council and its waste partner Veolia have implemented a new way of separating the waste collected by the four new street sweepers introduced last October, by extracting the materials which can be recycled or re-used.

Around 40 per cent of waste collected from the gullies and pavements is made up of ‘organics’ such as leaves or other vegetation. These can be recycled into land restoration material, while sand, soil and aggregates (which account for most of the remaining waste) can be re-used. This means that up to 90 per cent of street sweepings and gully waste can be recycled thanks to the new process of separating the street sweepings from other waste and delivering it to a purpose-designed street sweepings recycling plant.

Cllr Gill Mitchell, chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “This is another practical way of helping the city to recycle more. Using our new sweepers we can not only clean the streets with more frequency, we can also put what we’ve collected to good use. We estimate that recycling street sweepings will increase our recycling rates by around one per cent.”

Allan Key, general manager for Veolia South Downs, said: “At Veolia we are always striving to deliver innovative ways to move waste up the hierarchy; this is a great example of this in action as the waste was previously processed for energy recovery.”