HAMPSHIRE Waste Services (HWS), part of the Onyx Environmental Group, has reached a major milestone in its recycling programme after recycling a record 200,000 tonnes of waste.

The facility, in Portsmouth, was opened in 1998 and in its first year recycled nearly 32,000 tonnes of household waste."From 2001 to 2002 this figure had risen to 50,000 tonnes."

The MRF uses a combination of technology and manpower to sort paper, plastic and tins, which are then sent to external processors to be recycled."

"Reaching this milestone is evidence of the success of the recycling programme in Hampshire where recycling levels are more than three times the national average," says Mike Thomas of Hampshire Waste Services." "Hampshire people have risen to the recycling challenge and we are delighted that levels are on the increase each year."

So successful has been the recycling strategy in the county that a second MRF to handle waste from the north of the county has become essential and is now being built on a seven acre site near Alton. The multi million pound facility will use cutting edge technology to process its waste.

This new MRF forms part of Hampshire's strategy for dealing with household waste, called Project Integra."The county's 12 local authorities and two unitary authorities work together with HWS to implement this strategy and ensure that our waste is disposed of in the most efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly way possible.

Hampshire currently collects more than 840,000 tonnes of waste each year with a significant proportion going to landfill."The county currently recycles around 22 per cent of its waste but is firmly committed to achieve its target to recycle 40 per cent.

Household waste is increasing every year. Yet landfill, the traditional disposal method, is no longer a viable long term option. All too soon, there will be no landfill sites left in Hampshire. Project Integra therefore has recycling at its core. It will then use composting, energy recovery and, as a last resort landfill, to dispose of its waste.

"We are very excited that we have hit this 200,000 tonne milestone at Portsmouth and are looking forward to Alton proving just as successful" concludes Mike.