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Changes to Recycling Collections FAQs

An additional purple lidded recycling bin will be rolled out in East Lindsey soon for paper and card. This webpage explains more.

What is this all about?

Around 30% of the recycling materials we collect is unable to be recycled. This is because some residents put the wrong materials in their bin which contaminates the paper and card, for example nappies, food, and liquids. This means that the paper and card have to be disposed of rather than being recycled. Across Lincolnshire we have been looking at ways to try and improve the quality of all the recycling we collect and support our residents to put the right thing in the right bin. This way as much as possible of the waste we produce is recycled.

Following successful trials where residents separated their paper and cardboard from the rest of their recycling, this 'twin stream recycling' scheme is now being rolled out across the rest of Lincolnshire.  The purple-lidded bins for paper and card only have been rolled out in Boston, North Kesteven, and West Lindsey so far.

East Lindsey District Council, working in partnership with other Lincolnshire authorities known collectively as the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership, are rolling out this service to boost the quality and amount of materials recycled.

Supporting the roll out will be a campaign to improve the quality of the recycling collected in the grey wheeled bin. Removing paper and card from your grey bin enables us to collect glass in it, so you can now put glass bottles and jars into your grey recycling bin.

We want to help you recycle as much of your waste as possible and reduce the overall carbon footprint. Over 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used in the UK each year. This accounts for 20% of all household waste produced in the UK, with the average family throwing away around 6 trees worth of paper every year. If every person in the country recycled just 10% more paper it would save approximately 5 million trees each year.

Why are we doing it?

The reason we need to improve recycling is simple. By putting the "Right Thing in the Right Bin" we can improve the quality of the recycling we collect in Lincolnshire and ensure that more items are successfully recycled back into products that can be used over and over again. 

The present method for collecting recycling (all in one bin) means that the vast majority of paper and card we collect is contaminated by the other items in the recycling bin, like food, and liquid waste. Paper and card are also prone to becoming damp, wet, and stained when mixed with other recycling, which means that the paper mills will not accept it. 

We have been able to prove that by collecting it separately in a different bin it will be kept clean and dry. This will let it be recycled rather than being soiled due to contamination. This also gives us the opportunity to focus our efforts on the recycling in the grey wheeled bin to ensure we get the "Right Thing in the Right Bin".

Is this East Lindsey and Lincolnshire doing their own thing?

The Environment Act 2021 will bring fundamental changes to our waste collection service. There has been a call for greater consistency in the materials collected for recycling and to provide clear information to householders on what can and cannot be recycled. 

The government have said in their consultation document that "following engagement with the sector and further research, it is understood that collecting plastics and glass together with paper and card, can lead to a detrimental impact on the quantity and quality of the recyclable material collected."

We need to help you recycle as much as you can and ensure that the right materials are going into the right bin.

So, what happens next?

Households in the district will receive a new collection calendar and a letter in August, setting out what happens next. The calendar gives details of collection dates of your purple-lidded, grey, and black wheeled bins.

This letter will also include a new leaflet entitled "Right Thing, Right Bin".

When will I get another bin?

The new purple-lidded wheeled bin will be delivered by a contractor engaged by Lincolnshire County Council. Delivery of the bins will start at the end of August and should take up to 8 weeks to deliver to all households in East Lindsey. Our contractors will leave your bin at the edge of your property where you would normally place your bin for collection.

What will the bin look like?

You will receive a black bin with a purple lid to put your paper and card into. 

We would encourage residents to put their house number or name on their bin. It is recommended this be done on the back of the wheeled bin (where the wheels are). Like your other bins, this will help you to ensure you get your own bin back after it has been emptied.

What can go into my purple-lidded wheeled bin for paper and card?

We have a new leaflet entitled "Right Thing, Right Bin" which will be sent to all households in August 2022. Further details are available on our recycling webpages.

Please place all paper and cardboard (except shredded paper, tissues, or used takeaway boxes) into your purple-lidded wheeled bin. 

All paper and card must be dry, loose, and clean with no food residue.

The purple-lidded bin will be collected every four weeks, so we would encourage you to make best use of the capacity by folding and flattening cardboard. 

Why can I not put shredded paper into my recycling bins?

Shredded paper cannot be accepted in recycling bins for two reasons:

1.   Shredding cuts the fibres of the paper up into very short lengths, these short lengths make it impossible to make into good quality paper pulp for recycling into new paper items.

2.   Small pieces of paper get trapped in the paper recycling machinery and can cause a fire hazard.

Shredded paper should be placed in a bag and disposed of in your black residual waste bin for efficient incineration for the generation of electricity.

How often will my collections be?

We will still be using the same vehicles and collections crews although the frequency of bin will change. Both grey bins and purple-lidded bins will be collected every four weeks, as shown on your collection calendar. They will be alternated with black bins as follows:

·           week 1 - black bin

·           week 2 - grey bin

·           week 3 - black bin

·           week 4 - purple-lidded bin (and then back to week 1).

The grey bin will be collected every four weeks, so we would encourage you to make best use of the capacity by removing bottle tops, squashing plastic bottles and cans. 

Our data shows that around 50% of the volume of waste collected is paper and cardboard. Therefore, collections on a 4 weekly cycle will not affect the amount of capacity that residents have available to dispose of their waste in the kerbside bins.

Can I have another or larger purple-lidded bin?

Not at this time as the data from the trial has shown that the bin you have been issued with should be sufficient to collect all of your paper and card.

We also need to try and reduce the amount of waste we produce as much as we can.

If you have larger amounts of excess paper and cardboard, please visit your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Can I opt for a smaller bin?

There is no option for a smaller, purple-lidded bin. It may be possible for you to share a bin with your neighbour if you both feel that would allow sufficient capacity.

What happens if I put the wrong materials in the bins?

We cannot empty bins that contain wrong materials. We need to make sure that the recycling we collect is clean and able to be recycled by the company that processes it.

Putting the wrong materials in your bin can contaminate the load and make it unsuitable for recycling. If we find the wrong material in your bin, the bin will be rejected and will not be emptied until the next relevant scheduled collection when the items not accepted have been removed.

Please take the time to read the new leaflet "Right Thing, Right Bin" which provides clear guidance on what can go into bins. More details are available on our A to Z of Waste Disposal.

Will you take materials including cardboard placed next to the bin?

No. We operate a no side waste policy across the service. Paper and cardboard is taken directly to a paper mill. The paper mill will not accept wet paper and cardboard.

Why can't you recycle damp or wet paper and cardboard?

Damp or wet paper cannot be accepted in recycling bins for two reasons:

1.   When paper is damp the fibres are effectively brought together and therefore the quality is reduced and it is all but impossible to make into good quality paper pulp for recycling into new paper items.

2.   When the paper is collected and stored at transfer stations in bulk (either with Lincolnshire County Council or at the paper mill), the heat created from paper drying is a fire risk.

It is important that the lid on your purple-lidded wheeled bin for paper and card is closed to prevent this.

Do I have to have another bin to separate my paper and card?

Yes, to recycle paper and card.

Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives the Council powers to direct which types of waste can be placed in each bin. The introduction of the purple-lidded bin in other areas of Lincolnshire has proved that collecting paper and cardboard separately is the most efficient and effective method of collecting good quality for recycling, which we hope residents will support.

Please be advised, that paper and card will only be accepted in the purple-lidded bin. We will be working with you to make sure that we find the right solution for you.

I don't want another bin. I will just put my paper and card into my grey bin.

Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990  gives the Council powers to direct which types of waste can be placed in each bin. The introduction of the purple-lidded bin in other areas of Lincolnshire has proved that collecting paper and cardboard separately is the most efficient and effective method of collecting good quality paper and card for recycling, which we hope customers will support.

Please be advised, that paper and card will only be accepted in the purple-lidded bin.

I don't have room for another bin

Every household in the district will receive a letter in August 2022 setting out what happens next. A new leaflet entitled "Right Thing, Right Bin" will be delivered with this letter. As we enter this phase of the roll out we will have a team in place who will be able to help overcome any legitimate storage concerns. We will be working with you to make sure that we find the right solution for you.

I use a sack for my collections.

If we currently provide you with a sack for your collections, this will continue. Unfortunately, the paper mill will not accept plastic sacks and so we are unable to offer a collection on the purple highlighted days on your calendar. Please place all your recycling out on the days highlighted blue on your calendar.

We are actively searching for a solution to overcome this issue and we will contact you again if further changes are to be made but in the meantime you will receive your normal annual delivery of recycling sacks in November.

If you feel that you can now accommodate a purple-lidded bin for paper and card please contact us at recycling@e-lindsey.gov.uk, and we will arrange a delivery.

 

What is the cost and who is paying for this?

For all new ventures, we need to first invest in the required containers, materials and collection methods. 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.

By maintaining your current capacity for recycling but collecting your purple-lidded and grey bins every four weeks, we can use the same vehicles and collection rounds, without having to make any more journeys. This ensures that we save carbon from recycling more of your waste, without emitting more carbon in collecting it.

Will assisted collections continue to be available?

Yes. If you have an assisted collection your arrangements will continue unchanged.

If we have to separate our paper and card now, what has been happening to it before?

For a long time now, your grey recycling bin containing plastics (bottles, tubs, and cartons), metal cans and tins, and paper and cardboard has been sent to our contractor to sort and reprocess. Mixing paper and cardboard with other products has often left it being damp, wet and stained. This spoils the paper and cardboard making it unsuitable for recycling. It has also meant that we have been unable to accept glass in your grey bin.

By separating your paper and cardboard into in a different bin it will be kept clean and dry, allowing more paper and card to be recycled, and allow us to accept glass bottles and jars in your grey recycling bin.

 

It feels as though the customers are now doing the job of the council, surely this can't be right?

It is really important that everyone takes responsibility for their waste and reduce our impact on our climate where we can. Whilst we can put in place recycling collection services, it is reliant upon everyone doing their bit and putting the "Right Thing in the Right Bin".

Why are you suddenly getting stricter on not allowing plastic bags and wrappers being placed into the grey recycling bin?

The list of items that can be recycled has not been reduced - in fact we have added in glass bottles and jars to your grey recycling bin. Contamination has become a major problem for us all, and we need to improve the quality of the recycling we collect so more of it is actually recycled.

Soft plastics such as plastic bags and wrappers have never been allowed in our grey bin. This is because it is not accepted by the contractor which manages the Materials Recycling Facility where this recycling is sorted.

Many supermarkets now have put in place their own soft plastic recycling schemes which enable their customers to deposit items such as plastic bags, bread wrappers, clean cling film at the store for recycling.

 

Newly built properties have to purchase their bins now. Will there be an additional cost for the new purple-lidded bin?

There shall be no additional charge for the purple-lidded bin at the present time.

Will I get a reduction in my Council Tax or what are the council doing with the profits from selling the clean dry quality paper and cardboard?

Lincolnshire County Council will receive an income from this paper and cardboard. However, for all new ventures we need to first invest in the required containers, materials and collection methods. 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.

We also recognise that costs of fuel, resources and infrastructure continue to increase along with the housing growth across the county. Which means that there will be more waste to collect and dispose of. 

Any financial efficiencies realised will be ploughed back into waste services for everyone in Lincolnshire, to reduce the increasing costs of waste and recycling disposal on the taxpayer.

Why have you changed what can now go into the grey bin?

Other than asking residents to place their good quality clean, dry paper and cardboard into the new purple-lidded bin, the materials we can recycle have not changed - we are now also able to accept glass bottles and jars.

Over the last few years, the levels of contamination have increased along with the volumes of waste we collect and dispose of. These levels have now reached a point where too many of the wrong things are placed into the grey bins and are compromising the recyclability of the materials in the bin. 

This means that we unable to recycle as much as we could.

The government will be legislating shortly on changes to what can and cannot be collected at kerbside. Your contribution to separating good quality materials by putting the "Right Thing, in the Right Bin" puts Lincolnshire in a strong position to meet any forthcoming changes.

Where does my paper and cardboard go?

The clean, dry, quality paper and cardboard collected from the purple-lidded bins is kept separate from other waste and sent directly to a dedicated paper mill in Kings Lynn. The paper mill is operated by Lincolnshire County Council's contractor: Palm Paper Limited.