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Recycling to go weekly

Kevin Snow14th July 2013

In a major improvement in our service to residents, we are to move to weekly recycling collections next year. New collection arrangements, to take effect from October 2014, will see the weekly collection of cans, plastics, cartons, glass, paper and cardboard in a single wheeled bin, rather than in separate boxes emptied each fortnight.  

At the same time we will be introducing a new weekly collection of food waste using handy ‘back door’ caddies. These easy-to-use 25 litre containers should be large enough for all the food waste produced by most households, although we will still encourage home composting where possible.

Speaking after the Council's Executive Committee on 24th June, Councillor Phil Brading,  Portfolio  Holder for Public Services and Health, said: 

“In making these changes we are responding to surveys and comments from residents on how we could make further improvements to the service. We know that some residents don’t recycle as much as they could, either because the current system is too time consuming, or because the present boxes are too small for the amount of recycling they produce.

"The new service will be simpler to use, as people won’t need to sort their recycling into separate boxes. The new wheeled bins will offer more capacity, and they’ll be emptied weekly.

“We have committed to these changes now because we had to find a way of removing cardboard from the brown bin organic waste collection. The problem is that much of the cardboard used in packaging today does not produce a compost of acceptable quality.

"Card coated with plastic or wax, or heavily dyed with printing inks, does not rot down in the composting process, leaving an end product of poor quality. Three Rivers, in common with all other councils, is taking steps to remove cardboard from the organic waste 'stream' to meet new, tougher, composting standards.”

Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Chairman of the Council’s Public Service and Health Committee, said : 

“We spent a great deal of time discussing the best and most cost effective way forward, given the need to remove cardboard from the composting waste stream. The Committee unanimously supported the move to weekly collections for recycling and for food waste. Both are clearly major improvements, and I am sure will be warmly welcomed by residents.”

Removal of cardboard and food waste from the brown bin means that from October 2014 the existing brown bins will revert to garden waste only, and will be collected fortnightly. Any remaining household refuse which cannot be recycled will also be collected fortnightly, as at present.