Hundreds fall foul of recycling rules

NEARLY 1,500 Suffolk residents have been shown the red card for misusing their dustbins since the launch of a recycling scheme, it has been revealed.But despite some people failing to correctly separate their unwanted goods - resulting in a £10 fee towards a return visit from dustmen - the blue bin system implemented by St Edmundsbury Borough Council has been hailed a huge success, with more and more people getting the recycling message.

NEARLY 1,500 Suffolk residents have been shown the red card for misusing their dustbins since the launch of a recycling scheme, it has been revealed.

But despite some people failing to correctly separate their unwanted goods - resulting in a £10 fee towards a return visit from dustmen - the blue bin system implemented by St Edmundsbury Borough Council has been hailed a huge success, with more and more people getting the recycling message.

The multi-million pound scheme, which began earlier this year, was designed to complete the council's recycling service by offering people the chance to properly dispose of dry items such as plastics, paper, cardboard and metal.

From April 1 to September 30, refuse workers have collected 585,000 blue bins, 7,000 of which were emptied but given a yellow sticker to remind people that certain materials cannot be recycled, such as plastic bags and polystyrene. A further 1,400 bins were given a red sticker and rejected, because they contained material such as nappies and food waste.


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Residents who find their bin has not been collected, can either remove the offending item and wait for the next fortnightly collection, or pay £10 to have council bin men make a special return visit.

Jeremy Farthing, who is the cabinet member responsible for waste management at the council, said he was thrilled with the success of the scheme.

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“There is a tremendous amount of support throughout St Edmundsbury for recycling, as these figures demonstrate,” he said.

“We consistently keep our residents informed about our recycling methods and they have responded magnificently to the challenge. It is a tribute to our residents that they quickly pick up on our recycling messages and are taking great care about what goes in their blue bins, for which we thank them.”

The blue bin scheme was introduced with a grant of just over £2 million from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' waste minimisation and recycling fund. The money was shared between St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council to extend their existing brown bin scheme, which collects and recycles garden and kitchen waste.

During the past three months, the number of rejected blue bins has reduced by roughly half every month, with 494 households receiving a red sticker in July, 249 in August, and 148 in September.

Mr Farthing added: “We are hopeful that the number of rejected bins will decrease further in the coming months.”

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