Kerbside glass collections seem unlikely to return to Kirklees due to uncertainty over Government legislation on waste and recycling.

The Government is looking at various ways local authorities deal with waste, leaving Kirklees Council in limbo.

The council signed a 25-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal in 1998, which was ahead of its time. However, since then the council has fallen behind many other local authorities and recycling rates have dropped.

The council extended the contract for two years in March 2023 – allowing extra items to be added to green bins including tubs and trays – pending the negotiation of a new contract.

However, the Government has still to make decisions on what it expects councils to collect and recycle, meaning the council will have to extend the temporary contract again, until March 2028.

The Government is set to require all councils to provide a recycling service that separates plastic, paper/card, glass, metal and food waste from every home and business it collects from.

Kirklees doesn’t collect food waste separately, unlike some other local authorities including neighbouring Calderdale, and the public has previously shown an appetite for the return of kerbside glass collections.



The council launched a six-month glass collection trial in November 2022 with a view to bringing them back in 2024 or 2025.

It was estimated that kerbside glass collection could cost around £7 million a year to run and that makes it unlikely to happen now.

While the Government will require councils to collect glass, Kirklees looks like abandoning plans to re-introduce kerbside collections. Instead the council is looking at expanding the number of bottle banks – relying on people dropping off their own glass.

The collection of food waste could become mandatory in 2026 and the Government says it will give Kirklees £2.9 million to set up the scheme.

However, the council says that will only cover 60% of the costs of containers and vehicles with no money for a depot or transfer station.

The Government has said Kirklees will have special permission to delay food waste collections until its new waste contract starts in 2028.

Councils are set to make less from the sale of plastics and metals for recycling when the Government introduces a Deposit Return Scheme, probably in 2025.

Consumers will be charged a deposit on plastic bottles and aluminium and steel cans but will be able to get their money back by returning them to ‘reverse vending machines’ in shops.

The council’s Cabinet will be asked to agree the waste contract extension at its meeting on April 9.

David Shepherd, strategic director for growth and regeneration for Kirklees Council, said: “There is still much uncertainty around central Government legislation which will affect statutory recycling services, and without clarification we can’t invest or improve our recycling.

“Our existing contractual arrangements with the incumbent supplier are lower than the potential costs and risks of procuring whilst there remains uncertainty surrounding the unresolved issues of national obligations.

“This extension to the contract will allow for more time for clarification from the Government around schemes such as Environment Bill; Simpler Recycling; Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR); Deposit Return Scheme; and the Emissions Trading Scheme, while allowing us to benefit from the current cost-effective interim contract.”


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