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Plastic and card recycling project hits target

1 February 2018

All residents in South Lakeland that receive a recycling service will soon be able to recycle card and plastic.

The final 2% of residents will be moved on to the expanded kerbside recycling collections this month – meaning we have hit our target to get 100% of properties on the recycling service in South Lakeland receiving plastic and card collections.

All parts of the district have been getting plastic and card collections for over a year, but a small number of properties in various areas had yet to receive the collections, because they were in more remote locations the recycling vehicles couldn’t easily get to, or were individual properties with particular ‘narrow access’ issues.

Our waste and recycling teams have been working hard to find bespoke solutions for these remaining ‘in-fill’ properties and are now in a position to expand the recycling service to include them, with smaller vehicles being used on two specially created ‘hard-to-reach’ rounds.

This means that 100% of properties in South Lakeland that were on the glass, cans and paper recycling collections will soon be able to add plastic and cardboard to the recyclables collected from the kerbside.

Residents in these remaining properties will start receiving their new re-useable blue recycling bag for storing plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, as well as cans, from 12 February 2018.

An information leaflet about which container should be used for which material will also be delivered at the same time as the blue bags.

Residents can start using the new blue bag for storing plastic and cans as soon as they receive it and the blue bag will be picked up, along with the blue boxes and green waste, on the next recycling collection date on their calendars.

When residents start using the blue bag for plastic and cans, they should use one existing box for glass only, with the other to be used for paper and card - ensuring that the card is kept separate from the paper, as this helps with the recycling process.

Figures show that tonnages of recycling are increasing as the additional kerbside recycling is rolled out and residents embrace the new service.

Almost 60 tonnes more recycling was collected from the kerbside in December last year than three years ago (531 tonnes in 2017 compared to 473 tonnes in the same month in 2014).

Councillor David Fletcher, our portfolio holder for the Environment, said: “This has been a huge project for the council and I’m delighted that all properties getting a recycling service will soon be getting the new plastic and card kerbside collections.

“This has been a long and complex project for the council to undertake. We have had to revise rounds, introduce new vehicles and deliver the new bags and information to 53,000 properties.

“We managed to stay on track with the project despite the service having to cope with the additional demands of the flood waste clean-up operation in 2016 and all areas had been moved onto plastic and card by March last year.

“Now that solutions have been found for these few remaining properties we can see the end of the project in sight.

“We introduced this expanded kerbside service in direct response to our residents’ wishes and this is a key step in our Council Plan commitment to increase the range of recyclables that we collect from the kerbside as we look to increase the amount of household waste sent for recycling.

“Further to some recent national media reports, which suggested some local authorities are burning recycling collected from households, we'd also like to reassure our residents that none of the recycling we collect is burnt or goes to landfill. If you sort it, we recycle it.

“Even the waste from your grey bin is re-used, it is sent to a plant at Barrow where it is treated to produce a fuel product.’’

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