Cllr Parry Batth Executive Member for Environment will be asking the Executive on Thursday evening to replace black boxes with weighted, water-proof sacks for its kerbside recycling collection to help keep paper and card dry. Changes in the world market for recycled material have meant that wet paper and card is no longer being accepted by recycling plants – which is hitting the borough’s recycling rates and causing significant environmental and financial cost.
“Wet paper and card is currently reducing our overall recycling rate by about 6%, which has an environmental and financial impact. We have looked at all the options available and found these sacks are the best option.
“They are water-proof, robust and are weighted down so they will not blow away. The sacks have a slightly larger capacity than the black bins and residents would not be limited in how many of them they have – so there will be no need to overfill them or for them to get too heavy.”
Other options such as lidded bins or ‘shower caps’ that could be fitted over bins but independent experts found these to be less effective overall in terms of impact on recycling rates and carbon emissions and cost.
Cllr Parry Batth said: “These bags are water-proof, robust and are weighted down so they will not blow away. The sacks have a slightly larger capacity than the black bins and residents would not be limited in how many of them they have – so there will be no need to overfill them or for them to get too heavy.”
In the longer term the council will consider other options to increase recycling such as wheelie bins but these could not be introduced with the current fleet of vehicles available and so are not a viable option in the short / medium term.
Cllr Batth added: “We have to work with what is possible. Some residents like the idea of wheelie bins and others don’t – but that is an issue for the future because they could not be practically introduced in the borough with our current contract and fleet of vehicles. We believe the weighted, waterproof sacks are the best way to go to solve the immediate problem we face.”
Note: the sacks shown in the image on this page all illustrative of the type of sack the council is looking at, with final colour and other details to be confirmed in due course.