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No cash? no problem! as technology helps Northumberland go greener

A new easy–pay system at waste disposal sites is making it even more convenient for businesses in Northumberland to go green.

Thanks to a new credit card payment facility at SITA UK's transfer stations in Berwick, Alnwick and Hexham, companies can now turn-up, pay and deposit their recyclabes and waste quickly and easily. The system is a first for waste sites in the county.

The three waste transfer stations handle both recyclable and non-recyclable business waste. And they are curing a major waste disposal headache for businesses as the new flexible way to pay is ensuring it has never been simpler for local companies to dispose of their waste in an environmentally friendly way.

The sites not only help the county stay green by discouraging fly-tipping, but they are also helping businesses to meet new pre-treatment waste legislation, which has been introduced to encourage more recycling of business waste. The new legislation means that businesses need to pre-sort their waste before bringing it to the transfer stations, but cardboard, cans, plastic bottles and paper can all be accepted. These are then stored separately before being sent for recycling.

The stations and their new payment system are a welcome addition to the area according to regular user Courtney Clift, Managing Director of Cooler Recycling in Haltwhistle, who said: “Having the site on our doorstep is very useful. Before it opened we had to travel to Newcastle so we're reducing our carbon footprint in more ways than one and the new flexible way to pay is very convenient.”

The credit card facility is already proving popular according to Richard Hinchcliffe, General Manager at SITA UK in Northumberland: “We're offering a valuable service to local businesses but we are also aware that to encourage use we need to ensure that the process is as hassle-free as possible which is why we've introduced the credit card system and the feedback we've had suggests it's making life easier for businesses.”

Paul Jones, Head of Waste Management for Northumberland County Council welcomed the new payment process. He said: “Small businesses and self employed people often find it difficult and expensive to recycle or dispose of the commercial waste generated by their business activities, especially if they can't use local authority commercial waste collection services as they don't have a business premises.

“The introduction of any new system which makes it easier for companies in the county to dispose of their waste responsibly is therefore very welcome and will contribute to the county surpassing its recycling targets and strengthening its position as one of the greenest counties in the UK”.

SITA UK is the waste management specialist chosen by Northumberland County Council as its partner for its long-term private finance initiative (PFI) contract for waste services. This contract is backed by £40.8million of government funding and involves a total investment of £90 million for essential new and improved facilities across the county.

SITA UK and the county council have ambitious targets that will see 40% of the county's household waste recycled by 2010, with most of the remaining residual waste being used as a fuel to generate electricity and only around 8% being disposed of to landfill. This will make Northumberland one of the 'greenest' counties for waste management in the UK.

SITA UK

SITA UK, a subsidiary of SUEZ Environment, serves over 12 million people and more than 31,000 businesses with a range of recycling and waste management services. It employs over 5,000 staff and has an annual turnover in excess of £600 million. The company handles more than 7.5 million tonnes of domestic, commercial and industrial waste through a network of recycling, composting, energy-from-waste and landfill facilities.

SUEZ ENVIRONMENT

SUEZ Environment, a branch of the SUEZ Group, supplies services, plant and equipment essential to life and to environmental protection: drinking water production and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, waste processing and recycling. Backed by its experience in the water and waste sectors, SUEZ Environment has a wide-ranging portfolio of know-how, providing sustainable solutions for local authorities and businesses. SUEZ Environment employs over 57,500 people worldwide and generated EUR 11.4 billion in sales in 2006.

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