DISPOSING of waste at landfills is causing high proportions of greenhouse gases to be released across Berkshire compared to other ways of dealing with waste.

Information produced for environmental bosses from Reading Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council and Wokingham Borough Council showed waste from all three towns is treated in a number of ways, including composting, recycling, landfill disposal and more.

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Less than 12 per cent of waste was sent to landfill last year, but the estimated relative contributions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is higher for this type of waste management than other methods. 

Bracknell News: via RE3via RE3

A report from re3, the shared partnership which deals with waste management for the three authorities, read: “It is revealing to compare the relative scale of the individual sections between the tonnage (left) and greenhouse gas (GHG) columns for each council.

“While the shared re3 contract has enabled the councils to vastly reduce their reliance on landfill it is clear that landfill constitutes the majority of the GHG impacts directly attributable to waste management.

“In seeking to reduce the GHG impact of waste, landfill is an important area. It is also clear to see that recycling, composting and Energy from Waste (EfW) make a far smaller relative contribution.

“It is worth taking a cautious perspective on those activities, however, as they are (EfW and recycling) energy intensive treatment types – this is something we’ll look to take into account in the further work described in this report.”

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Officers told bosses re3 was working with the University of Reading to understand how it could make a positive impact on climate change.

Oliver Burt, re3 Strategic Waste Manager, said: “Landfill emissions are what we have got to address

“We already know we want to reduce landfill. There will be decisions that we need to make on the balance of services.

“We are fortunate that we have an institution so local to us that is capable of helping us with this.”

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Councillors met at Smallmead Recycling Centre in Reading on Thursday, July 4 to discuss how their shared ‘re3’ recycling scheme was having an impact of climate change, as well as the progress re3 is making and the finances of the shared partnership.