Street sweepings collected by Brighton and Hove City Council’s mechanical street sweepers are now being recycled.
The council said that the latest initiative to improve recycling rates and come about through its work with contractor Veolia. They were now separating the waste collected by the sweepers and extracting the materials that can be recycled or reused.
The council said: “Nearly 40 per cent of waste collected from the gullies and pavements in Brighton and Hove is ‘organics’ such as leaves or other vegetation.
“They can be recycled into land restoration material, while sand, soil and aggregates (which account for most of the remaining waste) can be reused.”
Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the city’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “This is another practical way of helping the city to recycle more.
“Using our new sweepers, we can not only clean the streets with more frequency, we can also put what we’ve collected to good use.
“We estimate that recycling street sweepings will increase our recycling rates by around 1 per cent.”
In October the council introduced four new more sophisticated street sweeping machines.
The council said: “They enable the street cleansing teams to clean streets faster and more often, giving them the ability to concentrate on other areas of the city.
“Up to 90 per cent of street sweepings and gully waste can be recycled thanks to this new process of separating the street sweepings from other waste and delivering it to a purpose-designed street sweepings recycling plant.”
Veolia South Downs general manager Allan Key said: “At Veolia we are always striving to deliver innovative ways to move waste up the hierarchy.
“This is a great example of this in action as the waste was previously processed for energy recovery.”