A Lincolnshire man has criticised West Lindsey District Council for its new purple-lid recycling bin and ‘tag of shame’ scheme, throwing away his advisory tags and insisting he won’t use the ‘waste of money’ wheelie bin.
West Lindsey District Council introduced the purple-lidded recycling bins and began delivering them to households in the area earlier in March, becoming the third local authority in Lincolnshire to roll out the new purple-lid recycling collection process.
The new bins are separate from existing blue recycling bins, in that they are solely for clean, dry paper and cardboard. The first collection for these new bins is due on Monday, April 18.
Alongside the introduction of the purple bins is the addition of advisory tags onto the blue recycling bins, with waste removal teams now tagging any recycling bin with incorrect items in them.
The tags are also used by North Kesteven District Council, though they received the unfortunate nickname “tags of shame” after intense backlash was aimed at NKDC last year, with thousands of bins being rejected for incorrect waste.
It is believed the rest of the county will follow suit with purple-lidded bins by 2024, having seen the success of the scheme in North Kesteven and Boston Borough, but not everyone is delighted with the results.
Warren Webster, a 53-year-old Bardney resident, told The Lincolnite the scheme is a “complete waste of time and money” and even went as far as throwing his advisory tag in the bin and offering out his purple bin, as he will not be using it.
“They [WLDC] want us to recycle but then tell us this, that and the other can not go in this bin, it has to go in another one, but then they put tags on our bins regarding acceptable recycling, but these tags aren’t even recyclable! Utter madness.
“The end result will be more rubbish going to landfill because I for one am not going to do the recycling centre’s sorting for them.”
The council came under scrutiny after it was discovered the advisory tags used to remind people about recyclable products are in fact not recyclable.
The tags will be converted into electricity once put into general waste bins, however.
A spokesperson for West Lindsey District Council said the reason for these bins being rolled out is to “improve recycling” and the quality of items that can be recycled.
“This list of items that can be recycled in your blue wheeled bin have not changed. However, the council is using the opportunity to raise awareness of what can and cannot be recycled to clean up what materials go into the blue bins to maximise the quality of recycling materials across the whole district.
“Whilst we have collected bins with the wrong items in them, contamination has become a major issue. We all have a responsibility to do the right thing environmentally.
“With regards to the educational, advisory tags, unfortunately they need to be waterproof and the cost for making them out of recyclable material was just too high. However, once they’re put in people’s general waste bins they’ll be converted into electricity at our energy from waste plant in North Hykeham.”
Warren went on to say he isn’t quite sure where his council tax actually goes, given the issues across the district that are yet to be resolved.
He continues: “We pay a lot of money each year in council tax and for what? Roads are badly maintained, if even maintained at all, street lighting is turned off at midnight and now the council spend thousands on yet another wheelie bin with reduced collections.
“What about the people who have limited space for their bins? If you leave them on the pavement they will fine you for it. West Lindsey District Council policy makers need to sort their priorities out; money into the roads would be a good place to start.”
In response to this point, the WLDC spokesperson argued roads and street lighting are the responsibility of the county council, so they have limited say in that sector.
“This initial investment of around £3 million across Lincolnshire should be recouped within three to five years and will be greatly outweighed by the long-term savings. That money could then instead be spent on other vital services in your community.
“It is important to remember that it isn’t just about costs. It is about us doing the right thing to help protect the environment for the future, as our residents can expect.
“By using a specialist paper recycler in the UK we can reduce the number of miles paper and cardboard travels before being fully recycled, and consequently our carbon footprint. By reducing the contamination in the rest of the recycling, this process also becomes more efficient both economically and environmentally.”
Any residents with concerns about their recycling bin should email [email protected] and a member of the Lincolnshire County Council team will come and speak to them personally.