Rossington residents invited to join pure recycling revolution for Doncaster
Designed to improve the quality of recycling collected at the kerbside, the communication campaign will start with a letter delivered to homes in Rossington, Doncaster. This will explain why putting non-recyclables in the blue bin is costing the council over £300,000 a year – money that could be better spent on essential community services such as adult social care and children’s services.
Sampling of some of Doncaster’s blue bins, which took place prior to the start of the communications campaign, revealed up to 30% of the material in some blue bins can’t be recycled.
"We know lots of people want to recycle but despite what the packaging says, not all areas can recycle everything. That’s why it’s really important that residents are guided by Doncaster’s recycling information, not what it says on product packaging," said Cllr Mark Houlbrook, portfolio holder for waste for the council, who is supporting the communication campaign.
"Taking contamination out of the recycling stream and disposing of it responsibly costs tens of thousands of pounds every month and that’s literally money that could be much better spent elsewhere," he added.
The letter, which reminds everyone that only plastic bottles, clean paper and card, tins, or cans (including aerosol cans) and tin foil can go in the blue bin, also explains the impact of poor recycling on local services and that contaminated blue bins may not get emptied in future.
During the week commencing 5th February 2024, any blue bins that are found to contain items that can’t be recycled may still be emptied, but a tag identifying the offending material will be left to let residents know where they went wrong. On the next collection cycle (week commencing 19th February 2024), blue bins containing non-recyclable waste will not be emptied, giving residents an opportunity to remove the contaminants.
Partnering with Doncaster Council in the Pure Recycling campaign is SUEZ recycling and recovery UK (SUEZ), whose collection crews are tasked with emptying bins across Doncaster. Contract General Manager Shane Atkins is keen to see the level of contamination reduced and hopes that reminding people what should go in their blue bins will help SUEZ operatives when implementing existing council policy.
"We’re writing to people to encourage them to recycle properly because leaving bins unemptied is honestly a last resort and not something our crews enjoy doing – especially when they are faced with people who become aggressive or confrontational,” he said. “Whilst the policy of not collecting contaminated blue bins has been around since 2018, contamination rates have steadily grown since May 2021 across most parts of Doncaster. Through this campaign we are hopeful we can call time on bad recycling," he said.
Cllr Houlbrook added: "The fact that contamination costs local communities money is a compelling reason to make sure you check before you chuck. The advice is ‘if in doubt, leave it out’ and always make sure something is recyclable in Doncaster before putting it in the blue bin."
If you want to know more about how to be a Pure Recycler and what can go in your blue bin, visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/bluebin for more information.