Council bosses will look to improve recycling levels and limit the use of landfills as part of future waste management plans.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s neighbourhood services committee approved implementing the joint waste management strategy for the Tees Valley for 2020 to 2035.
The aims of the policy include seeking to improve recycling and composting levels and to ensure no more than 10% of local authority collected waste is landfilled.
It aims to ensure 55% of waste collected by local authorities is recycled by 2025, increasing to 65% by 2035.
Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher said he has been involved with the development of the strategy and added Hartlepool Borough Council has a responsibility in ensuring it gets the best out of the strategy for the area.
He said: “I feel as a local authority we need to keep our own strategies in place as well, as this is more about how we deal with the waste and what we do with it on a Tees-wide basis.
“I don’t think it’s a done deal, I see this as an opportunity in particular with plastic on the horizon and all those issues, we need to make sure we get this right.
“One of the issues I put forward was around income generation for local authorities.
“I believe there are opportunities for local authorities to make savings and generate income out of waste and we should be exploring those and shouldn’t just be leaving it to the private companies to make money out of this.
“It’s our job to make sure that’s not lost as we go into developing this.”
He also moved for any updates or changes to the strategy to be reported back to the committee, which was approved.
The strategy was subject to a public consultation prior to the meeting and in general responses were supportive, although each authority still has to make decisions over its own policies going forward.
The four Tees Valley authorities, including Hartlepool, currently deliver approximately 183,000 tonnes of municipal waste into the Haverton Hill site and have an existing waste treatment contract with Suez which has been extended.
Tony Hanson, council assistant director of environmental services and neighbourhood, explained the principles the plan provides for the area.
He said: “The new Tees Valley Joint Waste Management Strategy sets out the approach to the sustainable management of waste within the Tees Valley and the priorities for action over the next fifteen years.
“It provides the framework for how the councils will work towards reducing the amount of waste produced, to recycle as much material as possible and find the most sustainable solution to deal with any waste that remains.”
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service