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Paper and card collections

A new recycling initiative has seen separate paper and card collections being rolled out in the district from April 2022. This was unanimously backed by councillors. This was agreed at the Prosperous Communities Committee meeting, which was held on Tuesday 2 November 2021. It means the district is the third local authority in Lincolnshire to sign up to the new scheme.

Councillors agreed to introduce a twin stream recycling collection service in areas of the district which receive a wheeled bin collection service. In West Lindsey, it means the blue co-mingled recycling bin would be collected monthly, rather than the current fortnightly. A new purple lidded bin for paper and card would be collected on the alternate fortnight. There are no current proposals to change any collection days.

Schedule

New collection calendars and a letter advising of this new scheme were delivered to all properties which currently have wheeled bins during January 2022.

New wheeled bins were delivered to residents starting in March 2022.

The new collection service commenced in April 2022.

Further information

The recently enacted Environment Act 2021, states that recycling streams should be collected separately, where economically practicable to do so. Separate collections with the new service means there is no increase to our carbon footprint, as the same number of lorries are collecting recycling and there is no increased mileage.

Vice Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee, Councillor Tracey Coulson who is also chair of our Environmental Working Group said:

"Climate change and environmental issues are at the forefront of people's thinking.

"Figures show that our currently co-mingled collections are seeing more contamination and there is also a reduction in the quality of material that is recycled which means we need to act now to improve this.

"Our neighbouring authorities who have trialled the new system are already reporting that a better quality of material is being produced in both the blue and purple lidded bins. It is not increasing carbon footprint by separating materials to gain a more reusable and valuable resource. It also means we are able to achieve national targets for recycling by reducing the contamination and increasing the quantity of material that can be recycled."

There is a need to further understand the options for delivery of the scheme in areas where sack collections are in place, such as the South-West ward of Gainsborough and some remote properties. We will be working closely with the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership to try and resolve sack-based paper and card collection issues, which have been raised as part of the trials.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this new service please email us: recycling@west-lindsey.gov.uk

accordion | Paper and card FAQs

Frequently asked questions

What is this all about?

Following successful trials in Boston, North Kesteven and South Holland where residents have been separating their paper and cardboard from the rest of their recycling, a decision was taken at West Lindsey's Prosperous Communities Committee on 2 November 2021 to roll out the twin stream collection across the whole of the West Lindsey District.

West Lindsey working in partnership with other Lincolnshire authorities known collectively as the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership, are rolling out this service to boost the quality and amount of paper and card recycled.

Supporting the roll out will be a campaign to improve the quality of the rest of your recycling collected in the blue wheeled bin. From April 2022 we will be collecting your paper and card separately from the rest of your recycling. This is because we want to help you recycle as much of your waste as possible, and reduce the overall carbon footprint.

Over 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used in the UK each year. This accounts for 20% of all household waste produced in the UK, with the average family throwing away around 6 trees worth of paper every year. If every person in the country recycled just 10% more paper it would save approximately 5 million trees each year.

Why are we doing it?

The reason we need to improve recycling is simple. By putting the "Right Thing in the Right Bin" we can improve the quality of the recycling we collect in Lincolnshire and ensure that more items are successfully recycled back into products that can be used over and over again. 

The present method for collecting recycling (all in one bin) means that the vast majority of paper and card we collect is contaminated by the other items in the recycling bin, like glass and often food waste. Paper and card is also prone to becoming damp, wet, and stained when mixed with other recycling. 

We believe that by collecting it separately in a different bin it will be kept clean and dry. This will let it be recycled rather than being soiled due to contamination. This also gives us the opportunity to focus our efforts on the recycling in the blue wheeled bin to ensure we get the "Right Thing in the Right Bin".

Is this West Lindsey and Lincolnshire doing their own thing?

Certainly not. The Environment Act 2021 has the potential to bring fundamental changes to our waste collection service. There has been a call for greater consistency in the materials collected for recycling and to provide clear information to householders on what can and cannot be recycled. 

The government have said in their consultation document that "following engagement with the sector and further research, it is understood that collecting plastics and glass together with paper and card, can lead to a detrimental impact on the quantity and quality of the recyclable material collected."

So what happens next?

Households in the district will receive a new collection calendar and a letter by the end of January 2022, setting out just what happens next. The calendar gives details of collection dates of your purple-lidded, green, blue and black wheeled bins.

During February 2022 you will receive further information from us including the new leaflet entitled "Right Thing, Right Bin".

When will I get another bin?

The new purple-lidded wheeled bin will be delivered by a contractor engaged us. Delivery of the bins will commence early in March 2022 and should take four weeks to complete. Our contractors will leave your bin at the edge of your property where you would normally place your bin for collection.

What will the bin look like?

You will receive a black bin with a purple lid to put your paper and card into. 

The bins used in the trial were a solid purple. The feedback from those taking part in the trial said they would have preferred a black bin with a purple lid. We listened to the feedback and so the bin that will be used for the roll out will be black with a purple lid.

We would encourage residents to put their house number or name on their bin. It is recommended this be done on the back of the wheeled bin (where the wheels are). Similar to your other bins, this will help you to ensure you get your own bin back.

What can go into my purple-lidded wheeled bin for paper and card?

We have a new leaflet entitled "Right Thing, Right Bin" which will be sent out to all customers in February 2022. Further details are available on our recycling webpages.

Please place all paper (except shredded paper, tissues, or used takeaway boxes) and cardboard into your purple lidded wheeled bin. 

All paper and card must be clean with no food residue.

Shredded paper will not be accepted as the shredding process damages the fibres in the paper making it unsuitable for turning into new paper or card. Shredded paper should be placed in a bag and disposed of in your black residual waste bin for efficient incineration for the generation electricity.

How often will my collections be?

Both blue bins and purple-lidded bins will be collected every four weeks. They will be alternated with black bins as follows:

  • week 1 - black bin
  • week 2 - blue bin
  • week 3 - black bin
  • week 4 - purple-lidded bin (and then back to week 1)

The blue bin will be collected every four weeks, so we would encourage customers to make best of the capacity by squashing plastic bottles and cans. 

Our data from the trial showed that approximately 50% of the volume of waste collected is paper and cardboard. Therefore collections on a 4 weekly cycle will not affect the amount of capacity that resident have to dispose of their waste in the kerbside bins.

Can I have another or larger purple-lidded bin?

Not at this time as the data from the trial has shown that the bin you have been issued with should be sufficient to collect all of your paper and card.

If you have larger amounts of excess paper and cardboard, please visit your local household waste recycling centre.

Can I opt for a smaller bin?

There is no option for a smaller bin available.

What happens if I put the wrong materials in the bins?

We cannot empty bins that contain wrong materials.

Wrong materials can contaminate the load and make it unsuitable for recycling. Bins will be tagged and will not be emptied until the next relevant scheduled collection when you must have removed the items not suitable for recycling.

Please take the time to read the new leaflet "Right Thing, Right Bin" which provides clear guidance on what can go into bins. More details are available on our recycling webpages and see our A to Z of Waste Disposal.

Will you take materials including cardboard placed next to the bin?

No. We operate a no side waste policy across the service. We previously accepted recycling side waste but we cannot continue with this for the following reasons:

  • paper and card side waste must be kept clean and dry
  • mixed recycling no longer allows plastic bags, which people use to contain the recycling

Why can't you recycle damp or wet paper and cardboard?

If your recycling is wet the paper and cardboard can stick together and will not be able to be recycled.

It is really important that the lid on your purple-lidded wheeled bin for paper and card is closed to prevent this.

Do I have to have another bin?

Yes.

Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives us powers to direct what types of waste can be placed in each bin. The trial has proved that collecting paper and cardboard separately is the most efficient and effective method of collecting good quality paper and card for recycling, which we hope customers will support.

Please be advised, that if you place paper and card into your blue wheeled bin it will not be emptied. It will only be accepted in the purple-lidded bin. We will be working with you to make sure that we get the right solution for you.

I don't want another bin. I will just put my paper and card into my blue bin

Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives us powers to direct what types of waste can be placed in each bin. The trial has proved that collecting paper and cardboard separately is the most efficient and effective method of collecting good quality paper and card for recycling, which we hope customers will support.

Please be advised, that if you place paper and card into your blue wheeled bin it will not be emptied. It will only be accepted in the purple-lidded bin. We will be working with you to make sure that we get the right solution for you.

I don't have room for another bin

Every household in the district will receive a letter by the end of January 2022 setting out just what happens next.

During February 2022 a further letter and a new leaflet entitled "Right Thing, Right Bin" will be delivered. As we enter this phase of the roll out we shall have a team in place who shall be able to help overcome any legitimate storage concerns.

What is the cost and who is paying for this?

For all new ventures, we need to first invest in the required containers, materials and collection methods. This initial investment of around £3 million across Lincolnshire should be recouped within three to five years and will be greatly outweighed by the long-term savings. That money could then instead be spent on other vital services in your community.

It is important to remember that it isn't just about costs. It is about us doing the right thing to help protect the environment for the future, as our residents can expect. By using a specialist paper recycler in the UK we can reduce the number of miles paper and cardboard travels before being fully recycled, and consequently our carbon footprint. By reducing the contamination in the rest of the recycling, this process also becomes more efficient both economically and environmentally.

Will assisted collections continue to be available?

Yes. If you have an assisted collection this will continue for all your bins.

If we have to separate our paper and card now, what has been happening to it before?

For a long time now your blue recycling bin containing:

  • plastics (bottles, tubs and cartons)
  • glass bottles and jars
  • metal cans and tins
  • paper and cardboard

has been sent to our contractor to sort and reprocess. Mixing paper and cardboard with other products has often left it being damp, wet and stained. This could spoil the paper and cardboard making it unsuitable for recycling.

By separating your paper and cardboard into in a different bin it will be kept clean and dry, allowing more paper and card to be recycled.

It feels as though the customers are now doing the job of the council, surely this can't be right?

It is really important that everyone takes responsibility for their waste. Whilst we can put in place collection services, it is reliant upon everyone doing their bit and putting the "Right Thing in the Right Bin".

Why are you suddenly getting stricter on not allowing plastic bags and wrappers being placed into the blue recycling bin?

This list of items that can be recycled in your blue wheeled bin have not changed. Whilst we have collected bins with the wrong items in them, contamination has become a major issue. We all have a responsibility to do the right thing environmentally.

We aware that our communications to you on what is and not acceptable could have been improved. This is the reason that, together with Lincolnshire County Council and other partners across the county, we are working hard to provide you with the right information to allow you to put the "Right Thing, in the Right Bin".

Newly built properties have to purchase their bins now. Will there be an additional cost for the new purple-lidded bin?

There shall be no additional charge for the purple-lidded bin at the present time.

Will I get a reduction in my Council Tax or what are the council doing with the profits from selling the clean dry quality paper and cardboard?

Lincolnshire County Council will receive an income from this good quality paper and cardboard. However, for all new ventures we need to first invest in the required containers, materials and collection methods. This initial investment of around £3 million across Lincolnshire should be recouped within three to five years, and will be greatly outweighed by the long term savings.

We also recognise that costs of fuel, resources and infrastructure continue to increase along with the housing growth across the county. Which means that there will be more waste to collect and dispose of. 

Any financial efficiencies realised will be ploughed back into waste services for everyone in Lincolnshire, so as to mitigate combined waste costs.

Why have you changed what can now go into the blue bin?

Other than asking residents to place their good quality clean, dry paper and cardboard into the new purple-lidded bin, the materials we can recycle have no changed.

We recognise that our communication to you could have been more regular.

Over the last few years the levels of contamination have increased along with the volumes of waste we collect and dispose of. These levels have now reached a point where too many of the wrong things are placed into the blue bins and are compromising the quality of the materials in the bin. 

This means that we unable to recycle as much as we could.

The government will be legislating shortly on changes to what can and can not be collected at kerbside. Your contribution to separating good quality materials by putting the "Right Thing, in the Right Bin" puts Lincolnshire in a strong position to embrace any forthcoming changes.

Where does my paper and cardboard go?

The clean, dry, quality paper and cardboard collected from the purple-lidded bins is kept separate from other waste and sent directly to a dedicated paper mill in Kings Lynn. The paper mill is ran by our contractor: Palm Paper Limited.