October 18, 2021 5.30 pm

“Everything in the black bin from now on”: Angry reactions to North Kesteven ‘tags of shame’

Some are even calling for a council tax reduction

The bin drama continues in North Kesteven, with many disgruntled residents criticising the new strict recycling rules that saw thousands of green (recycling) bins given the ‘tag of shame’ as they were rejected for collection.

North Kesteven District Council has recently introduced a fourth bin, a purple-lidded one, for dry and clean paper and cardboard, which prompted confusion for what actually can go in the green recycling bins.

As part of the new bin rollout, recycling bins are being checked for incorrect items, and those that contain things which can’t be recycled or are meant for another bin will get reminder tags detailing where the resident has gone wrong. The bin remains uncollected until the incorrect items are removed.

It comes after over 9,000 ‘tags of shame’ were placed on green bins in North Kesteven last week, meaning almost 20% of the recycling bins in the district were rejected in the second collection since the purple bin scheme started.

In contrast to this, the first week of the new purple bin collections, which ran from September 27, saw just 1.5% of bins rejected.

The fallout has reached boiling point with residents, as some say that they will just put most rubbish in the black bin to save the bother of having their collection rejected.

Some have even been jokingly offering a bin checking service in the area at a small cost to ensure that the authorities don’t reject their green bins, while others are offering to clear out bins that have been tagged.

Darren James commented on The Lincolnite‘s story saying: “Watch bin wars start now, where people will empty their bins into other people’s.”

There are suggestions that go as far as to say that council tax in the area should be reduced, as the residents are now “doing the council’s job”.

Joey Brown left a comment which read: “[This] does not encourage recycling. Our council tax goes up, but our bin collections are fewer”, while Sam Seaman suggested that he “might just use my black bin for everything” from now on.

North Kesteven District Council replied to one tweet which accused the council of “actively encouraging residents” to put waste into black bins rather than recycling.

NKDC responded: “We’re asking people to try and put as much recycling as they can in their green bins. We do understand though that, being realistic in the short term, some may need to put some items in their black bin.”

A spokesman for the council recently reiterated that what can and can’t be recycled has not actually changed, just simply which bin it now goes in.

A North Kesteven District Council illustration of what should go in each bin. | Image: NKDC

Council leader, Councillor Richard Wright, said: “Contamination is an issue which is increasingly impacting on how much can be recycled and undermining all the efforts our households are making on their recycling at home.

“The only way to stop this is by everyone taking responsibility for our waste, by making sure only the right thing goes into the right bin.

“The wrong things regularly found in green-lidded bins – from soft plastics such as film lids and carrier bags to other items such as kitchen roll and used tissues, takeaway containers and even dirty nappies – can’t be recycled and contaminate other good recycling in bins and even the lorry load itself.

“This results in not only increased sorting costs but less items recycled as residents expect them to be.”

You can check which rubbish goes where on North Kesteven’s website, where a handy FAQ section details what is suitable.

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