Refuse-niks! Coun­cil didn’t empty 40,000 bins in month

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Sam Walker

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.’

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