Vast improvements following changes to the service.
There has been a marked improvement in the quality of garden waste collected in North East Lincolnshire following a recent change in the council’s waste and recycling policy.
In June this year residents were asked to put cardboard waste in their general wheeled bins instead of their garden wheeled bins.
Since then the waste collected no longer contains other materials that were previously being buried or disguised in the wheeled bins including polystyrene, nappies, cat litter and car parts. Instead the quality is much improved meaning that the material now meets national composting standards making it more acceptable for horticultural or agricultural use.
Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for environment and regeneration, said: “Thank you to our residents who have helped us achieve this. It was a simple message but it’s made a huge difference.
"Deciding to remove the cardboard from the garden refuse bins was a difficult decision but tougher national legislation and higher expectations from re-processors meant that we had to take action to improve the quality of the garden waste.
“I want to reassure residents that we have applied for Government funding which, if successful, will allow us to collect cardboard separately from the doorstep in the same way that we do glass, paper and cans.”
Last year cross-contamination of garden waste resulted in over 600 tonnes of the materials being rejected for composting meaning time had to be spent separating it or it had to be incinerated.
Cllr Wheatley added: “We were literally burning money because some people were throwing all kinds of waste into these bins, spoiling it for all those other people who were doing their bit by recycling.
“The quality has vastly improved but there are still a few plant pots and black bin liners sneaking their way in to the garden waste bins. However, this is a rare and on the whole we are delighted with the support and response from residents.”
Central Government is expected to make a decision on the separate cardboard collections in the Autumn. In the meantime cardboard needs to go into the general refuse bins (green wheeled) or can be brought to the community recycling centres (tips).
Garden waste bins are just for grass and hedge cuttings, plants and cut flowers, weeds, fallen fruit, twigs and small branches.
Cardboard, Tetrapk cartons, bottle tops or corks, jar lids, plastics, glass, books or cans must not be put into the garden waste wheeled bins.
There's lots of help and guidance available to help households with their waste and recycling needs. Please contact the Waste hotline on (01472) 325841 or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @RubbishGeek and www.facebook.com/letswasteless. There is an A-Z of what to do with waste on the website www.nelincs.gov.uk/resident/recycling-rubbish-waste/a-z-directory-of-waste/