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Lincoln residents improve recycling habits

Lincoln residents have improved their recycling habits over the past year.

Figures show that in 2012/13, just 8.7% of recycling waste collected within the City of Lincoln Council boundaries had to go to the landfill, down from 10% the year before.

In some months contamination levels even dropped below 5%, a contrast to the year previous, where spikes were at 15%.

Recycling material may end up going to the landfill instead of being recycled if it is contaminated with waste that cannot be reused.

Last year, the City Council launched a campaign to remind people of what can be recycled in a brown bin due to the high level of contaminants within waste.

Labels were placed on brown bins to highlight which materials should be put in, and reminding residents that collectors Cory Environmental may not collect the waste at all if it was contaminated.

Once the bins are collected the recycling waste is handed over to Virador, the County Council’s recycling contractor, which separates the items for recycling.

Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager, said: “We’re really pleased about this improvement in our recycling figures and are very grateful to residents who have helped us achieve this.

“People have really taken on board the recycling message and how important it is that their bin contains only the materials we are able to recycle.

“We’ve also had an element of ‘quality control’ which takes place at the kerbside to avoid emptying contaminants into the collection vehicle to reduce the risk of damaging good material, for example if food waste spreads on to paper and card.

“While there is still some work to be done to achieve the target we have set ourselves of less than five per cent of recyclable waste going to landfill, we are encouraged by the improvements which give us a great foundation to build on.”

To have a brown bin collected and not have the contents left or sent to landfill, residents should have there bins out on time in the morning, with materials loose, not bagged up.

Black refuse sacks must not be used in brown bins.

Items which can go into the recycling bins are glass, food tins, drink cans, cardboard, food and drink cartons, plastic bottles and paper.

The top three main items mistakenly included are:

  • Textiles – these used to be accepted in kerbside collections but should now be taken to charity shops or textile banks
  • Black bin bags – bin bags cannot be recycled. People who have extra recyclable waste should leave it in cardboard boxes next to their bin or in non-black bags marked ‘recycling’ in order to be taken away.
  • Food waste – food can contaminate recyclable materials, meaning it all has to be rejected. Also, make sure food containers are rinsed.

Contaminated material is rejected and sent to landfill, incurring extra cost for councils.