Keep up the good work on recycling

Update on contaminated bin collections

Paper and cardboard recycling

The quality of recyclable household waste being collected in North Lanarkshire continues to be high - and we would like to thank residents for their efforts.

The majority of waste taken to processing plants to be recycled has been rated in the highest two quality bands since our new service was introduced last October.

Bin lorry loads are assessed by the processors on arrival to ensure that only the correct materials from household bins are included. If a load includes significant amounts of the wrong materials, this contaminates the whole load. As a result, the processor will either pay the council less for each tonne or charge the council a higher disposal and treatment fee and send the entire load to landfill, which is a wasted effort for all households.

"For some recyclable materials, the council receives a payment from the processors depending on the quality of the load," Councillor Michael McPake, Convener of the Infrastructure Committee, explained.

"However, if the quality is poor, we may have to pay for the load to be disposed of. This could mean the difference between us receiving £64 per tonne to paying £125 per tonne.

"Obviously we don't want to pay any more than we have to for processing our recyclable materials, and any income we do receive goes towards the operation of our waste services and other local services."

For the first eight months of the service, bins with the wrong materials have been tagged to advise households of the materials each bin accepts, but the bin was then uplifted within a few days. This was done to allow residents time to adjust to the new service.

From 18 June, any tagged bins will not be emptied until the next uplift cycle, in three weeks' time.

The tag asks the resident to phone Northline where staff will provide advice on the materials wrongly placed in the bin; if possible, the resident should remove the incorrect materials and present the bin at the next uplift cycle in three weeks' time. If the whole bin is contaminated with the wrong materials, the resident is advised to take the rubbish to their nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre.

If the resident is unsure about why their bin has been tagged, they can request a visit by a Waste Minimisation Assistant to provide advice on recycling.

"Our household recycling service has been operating successfully for eight months, with the majority of households placing the correct items in the relevant bins, and I would like to thank residents for their continued support," said Councillor McPake.

"However, we have to continue to improve the quality and quantity of recycling to meet national targets and the increasingly high standards set by the processors for the materials they receive from us.

"So we are targeting those households who repeatedly place the wrong items in the recycling bins. There is comprehensive information on our web site and on social media to help residents understand which items can be placed in each bin."

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