Green bins being confiscated to deal with residents who fail to recycle

Green bins are still being confiscated in Kirklees – but only after residents who fail to recycle properly have been spoken to.

Saturday, 4th December 2021, 12:00 pm
A green bin in Kirklees containing non-recyclable waste

The council has confirmed it is continuing to use the option to deal with people who fail to recycle or decide they don’t want to do so.

Recycling remains a problem in the borough with a third of green bins collected in Kirklees contaminated with non-recyclable waste.

Two years ago Kirklees Council seized 1,650 green bins in a crackdown that saw the amount of rejected recycling waste drop sharply from 33 per cent to just six per cent.

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But it reined back on the hardline policy following fierce criticism.

Now the authority has revealed that bins can still be seized – but that it prefers to first try to educate and inform residents on what they are doing wrong.

Items that are widely recycled elsewhere but which are currently banned from green bins in Kirklees include margarine tubs, yoghurt pots, fruit juice/milk tetra packs, plastic food containers with ready meals/fruit, lids from plastic bottles, and glass.

Some people also use green bins to dispose of dirty nappies and food packaging – such as pizza boxes – that contain left-over residue.

The council says any green bins that are contaminated with non-recyclable waste are not emptied by the collection teams to ensure that the contents of one bin “do not ruin the efforts of many neighbours” when it comes to recycling the bin wagon’s load.

Instead the collection team will place a sticker on any bin found to be contaminated to inform the resident of the reason for non-collection and so they know what needs to be removed.

Details are then logged on notification on a tablet.

A letter is also posted to the occupier of the property with information about why the bin was not collected and tells them some next steps.

If a property is logged twice in consecutive collections, a message is automatically sent to a recycling and waste advisor who will visit the property before the next recycling collection is due.

This advisor will work with the resident to clarify any confusion over what can and cannot go in the bin.

If there are any specific needs associated with the property or the resident, the council’s advisors will seek to come up with a solution that works for the resident and the collection team.

If no agreement can be reached on how the recycling bin should be used appropriately after two meetings, staff will suggest that the green bin be removed from the property if the resident no longer wishes to recycle their waste.

If the resident changes their mind or a new occupier moves into the property, the council can arrange for the bin to be re-delivered on the premise that the resident agrees to recycle the right items.

The council’s cabinet member for culture and Greener Kirklees, Coun Will Simpson, said: “Our waste advisors are working closely with any residents who need some support to reduce contamination in bins and to play their part in reducing the amount of waste we all produce.”

He said a comprehensive guide on precisely what can go in various bins is to be released in the New Year and will include “exciting news” about the extra plastics that people will soon be able to put in their green bins.