Answers on compost

AN Express reader (‘Puzzle over compost’ September 6 edition) was puzzled about what happened to garden waste when it is put out for collection. This waste is currently recycled as soil enhancer on land being reclaimed for public use.

Compost which goes on sale to the public must meet stringent standards and currently garden waste recycled for the council by our external contractor does not meet those standards and so is used as soil enhancer.

The current contract is due to be replaced by a private finance initiative (PFI) to manage waste collection and recycling across the district. This is in the final stages of completion and will include - among other major improvements - an obligation to provide compost suitable for sale to the public. The new composting facility should be in operation by 2015.

It is important to continue to separate garden waste for recycling because if it goes to landfill it generates gas which contributes towards global warming and damages the atmosphere.

Last year, residents recycled 20,000 tonnes of garden waste instead of sending it to landfill and this huge effort is both helping to protect the environment and reducing the amount of landfill tax the council has to pay, freeing up money to invest in other services.

Thank you to everyone in the district who is recycling. If you want to know more about how you can help, please visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/recycling or call 0845 8 506 506. You can also contact mywakefield on Facebook or tweet us @mywakefield.

COUN MAUREEN

CUMMINGS

Cabinet member for environment and communities

Wakefield Council