More than 9,000 bins have been rejected by a Lincolnshire council so far this week as authorities clamp down on what can and can’t be recycled.
North Kesteven District Council’s recent introduction of a purple bin for dry and clean paper and cardboard has caused confusion with nearly 20% of green bins – meant for plastic bottles and cans – not emptied by refuse collectors, in the second collection since the scheme started.
Residents have hit out at the amount of rubbish left behind and the council’s strict rules – with some even resorting to abuse of the refuse collectors – but NKDC bosses say recycling contamination is “undermining” their efforts and that advice is being offered to residents who break the rules.
Here’s the breakdown of collections this week so far:
- Monday – 1,864 rejected (19% of bins presented)
- Tuesday – 2,279 rejected (19.5%)
- Wednesday – 2,651 rejected (23%)
- Thursday – 2,320 rejected (21%)
Lynda Somers took to North Hykeham Community Page to write: “The straw that broke the camel’s back… I am so meticulous in my recycling but bin not emptied to day. I want to dump it all and the two bins at the [NKDC] office. I will no longer recycle, I’m going to order a big black bin.”
And her sentiments were echoed by several others.
Others took a lighter approach, with Daryl James writing: “Just heard there will be public floggings held at the North Hykeham Village Green Saturday morning for all of the naughty folk that didn’t obey the strict green bin protocols… please bring your tag of shame so it can warrant how many floggings you will receive.”
In the first purple bin collection week, which ran from September 27, just 1.5% of bins were rejected.
A spokesman for North Kesteven District Council emphasised that what can and can’t be recycled hadn’t changed, just where it went.
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.”
He said the council had been communicating with residents on the new rules since July.
“We never want to leave a bin unemptied unless it’s really necessary,” he added.
“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,” he said.