Refuse-niks! Council didn’t empty 40,000 bins in month
A COUNCIL that threatened to send officials to ‘educate’ families who failed to recycle properly refused to collect 40,000 bins in the first month of its green clampdown.
Figures released by North Lanarkshire Council show that in the first month of its scheme, bin collectors left 10,000 ‘contaminated’ bins at the roadside every week.
Each of the offending containers was issued with a red warning ‘tag’, telling owners the reason for the offence and advising them how to rectify the problem.
After three strikes, ‘waste education officers’ will be sent out to teach repeat offenders which bins to use and when.
Six failures to comply with the rules could result in rubbish being uncollected – with the council reserving the right to halt services.
The scheme, in which households must juggle four differently coloured bins, had aimed to collect and process 1,000 tons of paper and plastic in the first four weeks. But figures show that recycling centres dealt with only half of that, 580 tons.
The council blamed confusion over the recyclability of rogue items including takeaway boxes and plastic tubs of salad dressing – both of which contain grease – for preventing uplift.
Donald Cameron, Scottish Conservative environment spokesman, said: ‘This does seem to be a self-defeating policy. There is less recycling and people are more confused than ever.
‘We would strongly suggest that North Lanarkshire Council
‘More confused than ever’
encourages the community to recycle responsibly rather than forcing them into a standoff with hardworking refuse staff.’
The rules are part of the council’s three-weekly bin collection cycle, which began on October 2.
For the scheme, the area’s 339,000 residents have to separate rubbish into four bins: food and garden waste; nonrecyclable general refuse; plastics, glass and metal; and paper and cardboard.
The collection cycle means garden waste is uplifted more often than general household refuse – three times rather than twice over six weeks.
Of the bins that were collected in the first four weeks, council figures show that though the target for paper and card recycling levels fell short, the tonnage of glass, metals and plastics processed was much closer to predictions, with recycling centres dealing with 770 tons of the 1,280-ton target.
Andrew McPherson, head of regulatory services and waste solutions at the council, described the figures as ‘encouraging’, with levels of recycling improving with no reduction in the quality.
Mr McPherson said: ‘What is clear in the first month of the programme is that people are taking on board the need to recycle and reduce their household waste.’