Headlines: December 16th, 2003

Fourteen local authority partnerships are to share more than 62 million pounds in funding after putting forward successful proposals for waste minimisation and recycling. The money will be paid over the next two years by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The department said the 14 approvals represented a greater number of high value proposals than had been expected and an overall increase in the total level of funding for partnership projects.The successful partnerships were Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Devon, Essex, Greater Manchester, Gloucestershire and Shropshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Somerset and Suffolk The successful proposals cover 7.5 million tonnes of England’s annual waste production. The authorities will each benefit from up to five million pounds as well as receiving Government support services to help them deliver high quality environmental solutions.

The two-year programmes of work in the successful areas will expand the recycling and composting infrastructure including new and enhanced kerbside collection schemes, household waste sites and recycling facilities. The proposals are also designed to deliver long-term waste management solutions to those authorities that have no existing facilities in place.

Environment Minister Elliot Morley said all the proposals demonstrated that many English councils were committed to delivering world class recycling and composting services. The best proposals, he said, demonstrated great value for money and that was reflected in the number of schemes that had been approved.

The Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund was launched in 2001, and has so far distributed 140 million pounds to local authorities through 295 projects. The government’s Waste Strategy 2000 set a target of a quarter of household waste being recycled or composted by 2005-06.