Thursday, 23 July 2009

No Time To Waste

The RE3 partnership of Reading, Bracknell Forest and Wokingham borough councils recently staged the official reopening of the Smallmead and Longshot Lane waste management facilities.

The Smallmead site opened on 7th July and the Longshot Lane site on 13th July.

The councils have formed the RE3 partnership to coordinate waste policy across the three boroughs and are working with Waste Recycling Group on a £610m 25-year scheme to improve waste management and recycling and reduce the need for expensive and environmentally unfriendly landfill.

The two locations have been transformed in a massive 'redesign and rebuild' project (Smallmead took 28 months and Longshot Lane 14 months to redevelop), which includes a household waste recycling centre, a materials recycling facility and a waste transfer station. Smallmead has also opened a visitor centre to help provide information and educational facilities which will cater for 2,000 schoolchildren every year.

In all Smallmead represents a £22m investment and will be capable of dealing with 75,000 tonnes per year of material for recycling and have capacity for 200,000 tonnes of waste transfer material (WTM). Spokespeople explained that the key feature was the ability to increase WTM management from 25,000 tonnes per year which will enable proper sorting of recyclables - thereby allowing for economic marketing of the produce.

Oliver Burt, project manager for RE3 partnership, said the openings were "the culmination of 10 years' of work" as the week had been planned for since 1999.

A selection of council representatives praised the development stating that it was an example of a successful Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project at a time of economic difficulty. Bracknell Forest Council leader, Cllr Paul Bettison (Con), said that it is a "high quality, long-term solution", while Reading's lead councillor for Environmental Matters and Sustainability, Cllr Paul Gittings (Lab), said it provided "first-class facilities and great value for money".

Bracknell Blog reports a personal perspective that the town waste facilities are 'much improved'.

Elsewhere Gideon Mack notes that Britain has taken back a consignment of clinical waste a Swindon-based company was attempting to export to Brazil - exactly the sort of thing developed countries should be able to deal with ourselves.


  1. Now that Reading Borough Council is part of a 'RE3' maybe they'll start reporting real recycling statistics.

  2. When I first moved to Reading, I thought the signs pointing the way to the "Civic Amenity Site" sounded so nice -- like something special happened there. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to just be a dump.

    (The new facilities are great though -- no more queues.)

  3. Longshot lane could be horrendous for queues; many hours wasted there; thanks for this post, good news for a change!


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