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Missed recycling target means more bin checks in West Norfolk

By Lynn News Reporter

More bins in West Norfolk are being checked to ensure the right waste is going into them after the borough failed to meet expected levels of suitable recyclable material.

Borough council chiefs say the move was made after earlier campaigns intended to promote the correct practices failed to adequately address the problems.

It also means the borough is also set to lose out on credit payments made for recycling.

Green wheelie bin. (1932810)
Green wheelie bin. (1932810)

The issue has come to light following the publication of papers for the borough council’s scheduled meeting next Thursday, November 29.

In them, environment portfolio holder Ian Devereux said: “Despite our publicity campaigns and face-to face interactions with communities on waste collection, recycling and recyclables, we have failed to achieve the required levels of contamination-free waste.

Ian Devereux (5568041)
Ian Devereux (5568041)

“As a consequence we encouraged our contractor to increase their checking process as they handle the green bins.

“This has highlighted a high proportion of bins with non-recyclables, particularly the use of black or white plastic bags to contain other items.

“It is important that we all follow the simple mantra of ‘Clean, Dry and Loose’ when we fill our green bins.”

Mr Devereux told the Lynn News the issue related to the material which is sent to the county-wide recycling facility at Costessey, near Norwich.

He said bags found in the bins often contained things like food waste, nappies and other hazardous materials, though other items had also been discovered, including radios.

He said the borough had fallen around five per cent short of its expected volume and the increased checks had been taking place since higher levels of contamination began to be reported in the last two to three weeks.

Mr Devereux did not specify exactly how much the council stands to lose in recycling credits as a result of the shortfall, but said the figure was likely to be in the “low” hundreds of thousands of pounds.

He has also apologised after red tags which were attached to some bins to inform residents that their contents were deemed unacceptable carried outdated recycling information.

He reported: “This error was corrected within three days, however, I apologise for any confusion this may have caused.”

The report also revealed that the council expects to complete a partnership agreement for a new waste collection arrangement today.

The authority has joined forces with the Breckland and North Norfolk district councils to draw up the contract.

The new arrangements would come into force in the borough once the existing contract ends in 2021.

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