Warning to bin bad boys

PUBLISHED: 12:36 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2010

Lesley Lewis blasts rubbish idea

Lesley Lewis blasts rubbish idea

MID Beds Council is kicking up a stink over people who abuse their recycling bins Persistent offenders could have their special bins confiscated, warn the council. From February 27, no bags or sacks other than orange ones will be accepted in green-lidded

MID Beds Council is kicking up a stink over people who abuse their recycling bins

Persistent offenders could have their special bins confiscated, warn the council.

From February 27, no bags or sacks other than orange ones will be accepted in green-lidded recycling bins, regardless of what they contain.

But one Stotfold resident says the council should think again because it will encourage fly tipping.

Mid Beds Council says all recyclables should always be placed loose in the bins or in orange sacks.

The reason behind the warning, say the council, is because a small minority of residents have been abusing the award-winning scheme.

Forbidden items found in green bins include animal faeces, dead pets, nappies, sanitary items, glass and food waste.

Those who abuse the system, say the council, are undermining the recycling system. One badly contaminated bin can condemn a whole lorry load of recyclables, around eight tonnes, to landfill.

The council's contractor Verdant has now been instructed not to empty any green-lidded bins containing any sacks or plastic bags from February 27.

Already a number of residents have lost their bins because they have continually abused the system. Only when they have demonstrated they can follow the scheme correctly will their bins be returned.

Sandy councillor Max McMurdo, environment and housing portfolio holder for Mid Beds Council, said: "By wiping out contamination we will all see much higher recycling rates and we will avoid having to send good recyclable material to landfill because it has been contaminated by a thoughtless few."

But one Stotfold resident says the council has gone a step too far.

"I believe this to be a totally thoughtless and pointless directive which will lead to a vast reduction in the amount of recycling and an increase in fly tipping," says Mrs Lesley Lewin of The Coppens.

"Firstly, the misuse of recycling bins will continue, because it is simple to hide non recyclable waste under other items in the bin, so a directive not to empty the bin if it contains visible plastic bags will make little or no difference to the amount of misuse. "Secondly, households who do recycle often have two waste bins in the kitchen. Mid Beds Council might like to note that the standard waste bin equipment available in every supermarket and used by millions of households is a bin liner with either a drawstring or tie handle tops.

"It is inconceivable that every item for recycling should be individually carried by hand and put in the green dustbin. It is far more likely all bin liners green or otherwise will simply go in the black bins and not be recycled and as the black bins will be over full we will see an increase in fly-tipping."

Mrs Lewin added: "Banning bin liners in the green waste will not reduce misuse. The real reason for the directive is more likely to be that the contractors who handle the recycle waste do not want to open bin bags.

"Banning bin liners will do nothing but damage to the recycling targets and cost a fortune clearing fly tipping.

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