RECYCLING campaigners in Winchester have welcomed council plans to introduce kerbside glass collections following a petition to make the city greener.

Glass recycling campaigner, Lynda Murphy, who recently started the petition calling on Winchester City Council to have glass collections added to domestic waste collection services, said the news was “a great step forward”.

However, the new collections would not be introduced until next year, when the service is put out to tender again.

Although it is not yet a done deal, councillors said that they were looking to discuss the feasibility of a monthly kerbside glass collection service for all households as part of the revised specification for its waste collection contract.

Ms Murphy said: “This is a great step forward. More than 1,200 people have signed my petition for kerbside glass recycling and I’m delighted that the council is now going to take a proper look at it after so many years of delay.

“Putting something in a tender doesn’t mean it will definitely happen though and I will keep up the pressure until it does.”

Cllr Jan Warwick, portfolio holder for environment, added: “We have asked officers to include kerbside glass in their negotiations for the new contract following feedback from members of the public.

“We are committed to improving and maintaining the natural environment and also listen and respond to the needs of our residents.”

The move follows news in December that although recycling rates achieved by councils across the south have risen for the fourth year running, many councils in the region are failing to meet a national target of 50%.

In Hampshire the best performing local authority was the county council, which achieved a recycling rate of 41.6%. It was followed by Eastleigh Borough Council (40.7%), Winchester City Council (34.2%) and Fareham Borough Council (33.2%). Test Valley achieved a figure of 33%.

David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK, said household recycling rates in England rose by just 0.6% last year. He called for a new strategy that viewed waste products as raw materials for manufacturing and energy.