‘What goes in a purple-lidded bin?’ and other questions answered by SKDC
People’s wheelie bins are being tagged this week because they haven’t sorted their rubbish correctly.
The measure by South Kesteven District Council is designed to ‘educate’ people about the new purple-lidded bin that has been added to their collection.
But the extra recycling bin – which is for clean, dry paper and card – has caused confusion.
In part, this was because people continued to put this kind of rubbish into their grey bins, unaware that they would have their grey bin ‘tagged’ in January should it be found to contain clean paper and card.
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There have also been questions raised about using bin bags, and what to do with wet or shredded paper.
There is some solace for those whose bins are ‘tagged’ in South Kesteven. They are not alone.
When a similar scheme was rolled out in North Kesteven, more than 9,000 bins were rejected – or about one in five.
To help avoid what some have dubbed the council’s ‘tags of shame’, we put readers’ questions to South Kesteven District Council.
When will my purple-lidded bin be emptied?
The purple-lidded bins will be emptied from the week beginning February 5. Residents should be putting waste into the purple-lidded bin now, as well as continuing to use their silver recycling and black general waste bins. You can find what to put in which bin at South Kesteven District Council’s searchable A-Z widget www.southkesteven.gov.uk/whichbin
Where can I find out which colour bin will be collected on which day?
You should have had a timetable delivered with your purple bin. Alternatively, visit www.southkesteven.gov.uk/bincollectionday for a downloadable PDF calendar or searchable postcode widget.
What should I put in the purple-lidded bin?
You should now be putting clean paper and cardboard into your purple-lidded bin. All paper and card must be dry, loose, and clean with no food residue. Please flatten boxes and remove as much tape as possible. Shredded paper cannot be accepted in recycling bins for two reasons: (1) Shredding cuts the fibres of the paper into very short lengths, which cannot be made into good quality pulp for new paper items. (2) Small pieces of paper get trapped in the paper recycling machinery and can cause fires. Shredded paper should be placed in a bag and disposed of in your black bin for efficient incineration to generate electricity. Tissues or used takeaway boxes should also go in your black bin. These cannot be reused to make good quality paper.
What should I put in my silver bin?
Clean, dry, glass, plastic and metals, such as rinsed glass bottles and jars, washed plastic tubs and cartons, and washed food and drink tins. This should be loose and not contained in plastic bags or a wheelie bin liner.
What happens if I put the wrong materials in the bins?
During January your bin will have an advice tag attached. From February, South Kesteven District Council will not empty a bin if it contains the wrong materials because it will contaminate the recycling process.
Who will be looking into my bin to check I've done the right thing and when will they do this?
South Kesteven District Council and/or Lincolnshire County Council staff will conduct these checks on collection day.
Do I have to remove any clean paper and card from my grey bin now and put it into my purple-lidded bin?
No. If you put paper and cardboard in your grey bin these will still be emptied until the first purple-lidded bin collection on the week beginning February 5.
What sort of advice will the tags give?
The tags tell you which items were found in the bin that should not have been.
How much are the tags costing?
South Kesteven District Council uses bin tags to educate the public in the normal course of its work so this is part of our Street Scene budgeting.
Is there additional cost for the people inspecting inside the bins?
The people doing this work are in the South Kesteven District Council Street Scene department or part of the Lincolnshire County Council project team, and so this forms part of their work. There is no extra cost.
Should I remove any packing tape from cardboard boxes before it goes into the purple-lidded bin?
Yes, as much as you can.
Can newspaper and other printed or coloured paper go in the purple-lidded bin?
Yes, so long as they are clean and dry.
Can envelopes with a window go in the new purple-lidded bins?
What should I do if rain water gets into my purple-lidded bin and makes my paper and card wet?
Remove any wet paper and card and put this into your black bin. However the bins have been tested and normal levels of rain water on the bin will not mean it does not get collected.
What if paper or card has been wet and then dries - can this go in the purple-lidded bin?
The purple-lidded bin is for dry paper and card. When paper and card has been wet the fibres get damaged and this reduces the recyclability. Until the paper is completely dry it poses a risk due to decomposition, which creates heat as part of that process and could pose a danger of combustion.
What should I do if my purple lidded bin lets in water?
If you think your bin is damaged or faulty, please contact us on 01476 406544.
What if I currently use pink or clear bags?
If we provide you with bags for your collections, this will continue. Unfortunately, the paper mill will not accept plastic bags and so we are unable to offer a collection on the purple highlighted days on your calendar. Please place all your recycling out on the days highlighted grey on your calendar, your normal clear bags collection day. We are searching for a solution to overcome this issue and we will contact you again if changes are made, but in the meantime you will receive your normal delivery of recycling bags.
Can you buy an additional purple-lidded bin?
Not at this time as the data from other Lincolnshire areas has shown that the bin you have been issued with should be sufficient to collect all of your paper and card. We also need to try and reduce the amount of waste we produce as much as we can. If you have larger amounts of excess paper and cardboard, please visit your local household waste recycling centre.
Do you offer a smaller version of the new bin?
There is no option for a smaller, purple-lidded bin. It may be possible for you to share a bin with your neighbour if you both feel that would allow sufficient capacity.
What if I haven’t received a bin?
Please contact SKDC via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01476 406544.
What happens to the paper and card in the purple-lidded bins?
This material is sent to Palm Paper, a paper mill in King’s Lynn, and recycled into new paper materials. Lincolnshire County Council will receive an income from this paper and cardboard. However, rolling out the scheme across Lincolnshire required an initial investment of around £3 million. This should be recouped within three to five years and will be greatly outweighed by the long-term savings. Any income will be ploughed back into waste services for everyone in Lincolnshire, to reduce the increasing costs of waste and recycling disposal on the taxpayer.