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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 213

Date:- 07 August 2005

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Authority plans for Liverpool's first In-Vessel Composting Facility

MERSEYSIDE Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) today submitted plans for Liverpool's first In-Vessel Composting Facility. The facility, which would accept green garden and kitchen waste collected by local councils, would improve the region's recycling rate, which presently stands at 13.5%, by diverting biodegradable waste away from the regions rapidly dwindling landfill sites. The facility, which the Authority hopes will be developed at its existing Waste Management Facility at Gillmoss, will be a first for Liverpool and will be able to accept not only green garden waste but also kitchen waste. 

Carl Beer, Director of MWDA said:- "More than 30% of waste that is thrown away in your average household wheelie bin or bin bag could be collected and composted. The proposed new facility will enable this waste to be turned into valuable compost and also divert waste away from landfill sites. This is now even more important as both central Government and the European Union have imposed strict limits on the amount of waste we send to landfill in the future - limits, which if the MWDA exceed, means high levels of fines. These costs have to be passed on to local councils who may have to increase council tax rates."

So what is an In-Vessel Composting Facility?

o Green garden and kitchen waste is collected separate from other wastes from households and transported to the facility where it is then shredded and placed into a large sealed containers or vessels. 

o Natural processes then cause the green and kitchen waste to break down to form a compost material. The material is then allowed to mature until it breaks down further, this is done in a separate building, it can then be graded and bagged for use by landscapers etc on gardens and open spaces.

The new facility differs from conventional composting facilities - where compost is produced in open 'windrows' usually in open air facilities, in that none of the processes take place in the open air, therefore safely treating the kitchen waste and reducing the issues of odor and the need for large areas of land.

Cllr John Fletcher, Chairman of MWDA said:- "This proposed new facility will enable us to process more than 20,000 tonnes of green waste a year, diverting it away from landfill. We are working in partnership with Liverpool City Council and other districts to develop their kerbside green and kitchen waste collections as well as helping them promote a strong recycling message. The new facility will be a major step in the implementation of the Joint Municipal Waste Strategy for Merseyside that recommends the development of new and innovative waste and recycling facilities."

MWDA have organised a Public Consultation Day on Tuesday 16 August 2005 at The Stonebridge Inn, Stonebridge Lane, Liverpool from 10.30am to 7.00pm, for any member of the public to drop-in and find out more facts about the proposed development. 

Parking Charges Set to Rise

CAR parking charges in Liverpool are set to rise for the first time in 10 years. The increases in off street car park charge will rise by between 20 and 30p an hour. On-street charges are also to rise in the city centre controlled parking zones.

The increases follows a review of charges which looked at parking in other major cities. This found that Liverpool's charges were less than virtually every other major city The charge for an hour for on-street parking in Liverpool for example, Is currently £1.40 compared with £2.30 in Birmingham and £1.80 in Manchester and Leeds. The new charges will see Liverpool's charge rise to between £1 and £1.80.

Private car park charges are also considerably higher than the new rates. Some private car parks charge up to £15 a day compared with the new charge of £5 for Mount Pleasant.

The new rates will come into force in mid-September.

The funds raised by the new charges will be invested in improvements to the parking services including:-

· Introducing variable message signs around the city centre which will direct motorists to available parking spaces

· Upgrading Mount Pleasant multi-storey car park by improving security, lighting and introducing a better payment system

. Creating up to 300 additional on-street parking spaces in the city centre

· Introducing an extras 20 parking attendants to deal with problems outside the city centre, including parking around schools and district shopping centres

· Investing in new technology for more efficient pay and display meters

Cllr Peter Millea, Executive Member for Regeneration, said:- "No motorist likes paying increased charges for parking. But they have been frozen in Liverpool for a decade and it is no longer tenable to keep these charges at rates set in the mid-1990s if we are to provide a 21st century service.

We need to make improvements to help guide drivers around the city and to have well-lit and secure car parks.

It is clear that other major cities have grasped the nettle and have higher charges so we feel we have no alternative but to increase them ,while still being competitive with other cities."

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