Wednesday, 16 June 2010

New Bins Improve Recycling Rates.

By Ben Aulakh

Recycling in one Midlands district has increased by 14 per cent thanks to the introduction of a new way for residents to recycle.

Sandwell District Council in Birmingham introduced a new service using blue-lidded wheelie bins in August 2008, replacing a previous smaller community recycling venture.

Since the new scheme began more than 45, 000 households in the area have been given a new bin; the amount of recyclable materials collected in 2009/2010 increased to 11,122 tonnes, up from 9744 tonnes in 2008/09.

A further 15,000 homes will receive the new service in two phases; one will start in June this year, the other will begin in September. 

Marilynne Ingram, of 41 Sidaway Close, Rowley Regis said, “Before I had to use my own bags and take the stuff to be recycled to the tip.

“I had to separate everything, putting wood and glass and tins in separate containers, now I don’t have to worry about separating it and it taking up room in my kitchen, I just mix everything together in one big container before it’s taken away, it’s brilliant”

From November this year the council will be implementing its Waste Improvement Plan, a 25 year contract to handle waste, recycling and street cleaning services in the district.

It’s hoped the partnership will help the council to significantly improve rubbish and recycling collections still further.

Andrea Morris, from Sandwell Waste said, “A door step survey in November last year showed that resident satisfaction with recycling services was 91% for households where they did have the new recycling collection service.

“This compares to a satisfaction level of 80% from residents who were not yet part of the new scheme.” 

It is estimated that scheme should pay for itself as the purchase cost of the bins should be fully recouped through savings in disposal and landfill costs by the 2012/2013 at the latest, though this does exclude collection costs.

The next step in the Waste Improvement Plan will be to improvements to the Household Recycling Centre – where materials are collected – as well as introducing collections for other separated materials, such as food waste. 

The timescale for these changes will not be known until after the council’s new partner has taken over waste and recycling services in the late autumn.

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