EARLY signs are that far more glass is being collected for recycling in the Winchester district.

Since the new kerbside collection was launched last October the tonnes of glass collected each month is: October 275, November 221. From April to September the figures were 130, 168, 167, 179, 133 and 133 in September.

The rate from September compared to August was more than doubled.

Cllr Martin Tod, cabinet member for service delivery and transformation, said: "There has been a significant and positive impact on the volume of glass collected for recycling, since the service started on September 30."

An extra 50 tonnes of of glass has been collected that may otherwise have ended in landfill.

The Lib Dems say the success shines a light on the years of wasted opportunity under the Conservative leadership, which blocked kerbside collection proposals in 2011. According to estimates by Winchester Liberal Democrats, this eight-year delay may have prevented 4,800 tonnes from being recycled.

Cllr Tod added that, although the data was not yet final and audited, it did indicate a significant increase since the kerbside collection service was introduced: “These initial results are incredibly promising. We look forward to providing a more robust estimate of the increase in recycling rate as the amounts collected do vary across the year, but already there has been at around an extra 50 tonnes of glass collected for recycling per month. The national measure of CO2 savings for glass recycling is 233kg of CO2 saved per tonne*. This suggest around 10-15 tonnes of CO2 is saved every month by our increased recycling activity.”

Cllr Paula Ferguson said: "While I’m delighted that glass recycling rates have gone up substantially since kerbside glass collection was introduced, I’m shocked just how much extra CO2 has been needlessly released into the atmosphere over the past eight years, simply because the Conservatives weren’t prepared to back Liberal Democrat proposals to introduce kerbside collection back in 2011.”

When the Liberal Democrats took over the council following the elections last May the refuse collection service was in crisis with scores of complaints about a poor service.

Cllr Tod said changes had been made to improve efficiency.

Other changes included the use of only EURO6 compliant vehicles reducing the emissions from the refused collection fleet, greater use of narrow bodied refuse collection vehicles to improve access particularly in town centres, and a free household collection of small electrical equipment for recycling.

Complaints about missed bins has dropped from 178 in December 2018 to 98 last month; and on recycling complaints had fallen from 118 in December 2018 to 55.