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A load of

rubbish? r
t i n rub ea
g h b is y y
ei h ever
ay my w

t hr You

The facts about our waste

We have to reduce

We’re running out of space:

we need to act now
The story so far
Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland councils are working
in partnership to look at how to tackle rubbish in the future
(South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership).

In Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland we produce
370,000 tonnes of rubbish every year – that’s enough to fill
40,000 double-decker buses! We only recycle around 26% of
our household rubbish. We know we can do better and we must
do better because:

We need to drastically reduce the amount

of rubbish we put in the ground
Fact: Landfill produces methane – the greenhouse gas with the
highest environmental impact

Fact: Landfill effects last for generations

Fact: Nationally and locally we’re running out of space

The law is changing to protect

the environment

Fact: Landfill will keep getting more

expensive and this will cost you
money, through your council tax

Fact: We need to see our

rubbish as a resource
and get value out of it -
instead of just throwing
it away

Fact: We need to do something now

People recognise we have to deal with the waste that’s
not recycled. It’s up to us to find a solution

Fact: We are considering nine potential solutions for treating the waste
that’s left

Fact: We are looking at environmental criteria, deliverability,

cost to you and performance

Fact: We simply cannot continue to landfill alone

The Future:
We need to:
G Double the amount of rubbish we recycle to 50% by 2020

G Drastically reduce the amount of waste going into landfill by 75% by


G Develop a way of dealing with the waste that’s left

ndfill, the
we use la mo
o re re
e m yo
Th u’
p ay
c il t
Let’s sort the facts
from the trash…
Reality: Not true. Nationally and
locally we’re running out of space.
There’s plenty of space The Government charges councils for
for landfill and it’s every tonne of rubbish that is put in
cheaper to dump our landfill. Landfill will keep getting more
rubbish in there, rather expensive and this will cost you
than recycle it money, through increases in your
council tax.

Myth: Recycling is too much effort

Reality: Rubbish! It’s never been easier to recycle –

G You can put your paper (newspapers, magazines,

junk mail, white telephone directories, envelopes
and all other white and coloured paper), glass
(bottles and jars, washed, with lids removed)
and steel and aluminium food, pet food and
drink cans and aerosols into your Kerb-It box
for collection.

G We are also looking at ways to increase the

range of materials that can be recycled by 00 to
of ru nnes
your Kerb-It scheme. bbish
ced e
G There are many recycling centres and very
recycling banks to recycle old clothes, Gates
shoes, cardboard, cartons, plastic bottles, South
glass, paper and food and drink cans. and S ide
G There are ways to recycle your unwanted white goods and furniture.

Sunderland Community Furniture Service refurbishes furniture and

household goods and redistributes them to north east people who
need them.

For information: 0191 549 4343,

Renew North East is a charity that recycles electrical appliances by

refurbishing them for resale. Any money from the resale goes
towards training the technicians who repair the goods.

For information: 0191 469 7068,,

The Recycling Village at

Middlefields, Tyne Dock recycles
white goods such as cookers,
washing machines and fridges;
televisions and computers and
other electronic devices like
hairdryers and dvd players. There
is also a shop there that will take
your unwanted furniture to resell.

For information: 0191 427 2064,

You can,
reuse and
recycle item Other companies and recycling
such as old centres in the north east that
furniture recycle your unwanted furniture
can be found by visiting:
My rubbish is only a small
proportion of what everyone
throws away each week - it
won’t make any difference if I
recycle it

Reality: Not true. Each

household in the UK produces
about one tonne of rubbish
every year – the same weight as
a young elephant! If you Eight billio
recycled most of your tonne of plastic car
rubbish you would make a huge rier
difference. It’s your rubbish – bags are u
you have a responsibility to deal every year
with it. Reduce, reuse, recycle! – most
ending up
landfill site
Myth: s
Getting new carrier bags
when I’m out shopping won’t
do any harm

Reality: Yes it does.

There are eight billion carrier bags
used in the UK each year -
that is 135 bags per person
per year and most of those
end up being thrown away.
By taking reusable bags or
old carrier bags to the
supermarket and shops
you’ll help to prevent all this
unnecessary rubbish.
Myth: Myth:
There is no point recycling I don’t need to recycle because
because it’ll end up in a the bin men will pull out the
landfill anyway things that can be recycled

Reality: Reality:
Wrong! Almost 100% of all No they won’t. The refuse
materials collected for recycling collectors have a big enough job
are recycled. A very small as it is – they don’t have the
percentage of material is not time or the facilities to do this.
recycled because the wrong It’s your responsibility to put
materials were put out for your recyclables in your Kerb-it
collection or because they were box and it’s so easy to do.
too dirty to be processed.

Lots of companies such as those

rely on recycled materials to
create their products. If
everything really went to landfill,
these companies wouldn’t exist.

We need to
cycle to
what we re
50% by 202
It’s OK to throw away food because it breaks down naturally

No, it’s not OK. There is a lack of oxygen underground in landfill which
prevents rubbish from decomposing. If it does break down it creates
methane - a potent greenhouse gas that causes climate change.

Some of your waste can be

composted - vegetable peelings,
teabags, eggshells, cardboard
and paper are just a few of the
things that will decompose
easily in a well-managed Use
compost bin where air can
tea d
ma bag
ke s
Composting creates g
com rea
a fertiliser that can
improve your soil. pos t
If you don’t have a
garden, the
fertiliser can be used
for plant pots, house plants
and window boxes or you can give
it to gardeners or allotment holders.

Your council has teamed up with Recycle Now

to offer compost bins starting at just £17.
To order a bin contact 0845 077 0757.

To find out more about home composting visit

To ensure your food that cannot be composted is

not wasted check out recipes on
Dealing with the
rubbish that’s left
Rubbish as a resource…
When we’ve recycled and composted as much of our rubbish as
we can, we then have to deal with the rubbish that’s left. Here are
some answers to questions you may have about the options for
treating our remaining rubbish.

QUESTION: Why can’t we recycle all

our rubbish - then we wouldn’t
need to treat or landfill any of it?

ANSWER: We would love to be able to

recycle 100% of our rubbish and we
should all aim towards this. But, however Landfill produces
good we are at recycling, there’ll always methane - the most
be some rubbish that can’t damaging
be recycled – either greenhouse gas
because the technology
to recycle it doesn’t
exist or isn’t available
in this area or because
it’s not sustainable.
QUESTION: What are the options for dealing with the 50%
of our rubbish that we don’t recycle?

ANSWER: Nine technologies are being considered by the partnership

but no solution has yet been chosen. Some technologies that will be
considered are:

G An Energy From Waste Facility

This is an efficient process which burns rubbish with very low levels
of emissions and produces electricity which can be sold to the
National Grid plus steam for heating hospitals, homes and other

G Mechanical Biological Treatment (through Aerobic Digestion)

This is essentially a large scale composter of rubbish that creates
either a soil improver, like a fertiliser, or reduces the amount of
material that needs to be landfilled.

G Autoclaving
This involves sterilising rubbish by
using steam. Some of the by-products
can be recycled or converted to fibre
for use as a fuel or building products
or can be landfilled.

But these aren’t the only options...

It could be a mix of the above or

another solution that is put
forward by waste companies
when we ask them to propose
potential solutions.

Which is best?

There is no easy answer to that.

We will look at environmental
criteria, whether a particular
solution can be delivered, cost
to you, the residents and
performance of that solution.
We need to deal
with the waste we
can’t recycle or

QUESTION: Will the treatment facility be unsightly?

ANSWER: If we develop a new waste treatment facility it will be

designed so that it fits easily into its environment. The way any new
treatment facility looks will be a key consideration.

QUESTION: If you build a treatment facility, where will it be?

ANSWER: During consultation, you told us that you want us to deal

with our rubbish locally, rather than transport it somewhere else. So any
new facility is likely to be within the partnership area.

Until we see what solutions the waste companies can offer then choose
the best solution, we don’t know where it will be located. There may be
an existing facility, meaning we won’t have to build a new one at all. If a
treatment facility is to be developed a full planning consultation will take
QUESTION: Will the treatment facilities have an effect on
people living nearby?

ANSWER: We will ensure that any waste treatment facility has as little
impact as possible on the nearby community.

Will it be noisy?
The main noise coming from any of these facilities will be from vehicles
coming and going. But the hours the plant operates will be limited to
times of the day that will not cause a nuisance to the local community.

Will it smell?
All waste treatment facilities are strictly regulated and have systems in
place to limit any odours.

If mechanical biological treatment processes are controlled carefully

there should not be any odour created by rubbish that is breaking down.
The facilities are enclosed and must be fitted with ventilation and filter
systems to prevent odour and dust from escaping.

Energy from waste facilities are also enclosed and must be fitted with
ventilation and filter systems to prevent odour and dust from escaping.

Similar controls as mentioned above will be in place for autoclaving,

which is a new and emerging technology.
Will there be emissions that can affect my health?
All waste treatment facilities are strictly monitored by the Environment
Agency and must comply with rules that ensure that any gases produced
are thoroughly cleaned and constantly monitored.

Mechanical biological treatments are enclosed to limit emissions. Gases

(carbon dioxide and methane) are produced but these are captured and
can be used for energy and heat production. Emissions can be produced
by all treatment options due to the burning or heating processes
involved. The outputs must be strictly controlled to meet emissions
limits set by the European Union.

Modern clean burn processes, like the energy from waste plants we
could consider, show no evidence of significant health risks. Modern
facilities create 99.8% less emissions than the old ones. Their total
emissions are only 0.2% of the old incinerators.

As there are no existing large scale autoclaving facilities, it is difficult to

comment on emissions, but these will be monitored and subject to
similar checks and regulations as energy from waste and mechanical
biological treatments.

We need to turn
our rubbish into
a resource
QUESTION: How much will the treatment facilities cost?

ANSWER: Until we make decisions on a provider, the technology and –

if it’s required – a site, we do not have exact figures. What we know is,
it will be significantly cheaper because we are working together as a
partnership, rather than approaching potential suppliers as individual
authorities. If we do nothing and carry on land filling it will cost much
more than any of the alternatives, both financially for us all and for the

act now
slip up
We can -w
wh en i te
t comes to was

Contact Information
For more information or to give us your feedback:

If you live in Gateshead

If you live in South Tyneside
If you live in Sunderland

We all need to reduce, reuse, recycle!

Different Formats
If you would like this
information in a different format
– Braille, large print, on
audio cassette/CD or in a
different language please
contact Communications at
Gateshead Council on
0191 433 3444.

Produced by South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership.

July 2008.

Printed on recyclable material. When you have finished with

this leaflet please recycle it in your Kerb-it box. Thank you.