Norwich plan to be first for on-street recycling

Kate ScotterNorwich could become the first city in the UK to have on-street recycling points for batteries, CDs and mobile phones.Kate Scotter

Norwich could become the first city in the UK to have on-street recycling points for batteries, CDs and mobile phones.

New recycling points could spring up around the city as part of a pioneering scheme put forward by blipvert UK, the British arm of a Spanish company which operates similar successful schemes in other parts of Europe.

The Urban Green Point is made up of seven containers which take batteries, energy saving light bulbs, CDs/DVDs, mobile phones and ink cartridges.

It is hoped the unit will be able to be placed in several places but permission first needs to be granted by Norwich City Council planning officials.

Jenny Morley, who together with business partner blipvert UK is spearheading the initiative, said: 'It's about providing free recycling services on the street for the public for items which they don't know what to do with at the moment.

'It's easy and convenient, it's zero cost to the local authorities and to the public. Norwich has the opportunity to become the first city in the UK to provide these free recycling facilities for the public.'

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The units would be emptied on a regular basis and all the contents will be taken to recycling facilities in the UK, except for the batteries which will be taken to Belgium as there is nowhere in Britain which recycles them.

They each feature individually shaped holes for the items to avoid contamination and discourage people using them for general waste. Officials say they have also passed health and safety tests.

Businesses and charities will have the opportunity to advertise on the units, which generates the income for blipvert, and the recycling rates would count towards the city council's targets.

The scheme has been running in Spain for 15 years and it has already been successful in Holland and Belgium. There are 56 of the units in Haarlemmermeer in Holland.

Adrian Akester, head of citizen services at City Hall, said: 'I don't have a problem with the idea but I think the thing is to find where we can actually put them. There are quite a few hurdles that need to be overcome before they can be put in place.'

Steve Falvey, head of operations and facilities at the Forum, said: 'We are very supportive of anything to do with helping the environment and helping our customers with recycling and making a difference.

'We are committed to finding a suitable location on our site and hopefully the council will show its support as well.'

Are you campaigning for improved facilities in the area where you live? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email