West Lancashire Borough Council would like to respond to some concerns by residents over the introduction of brown bins for garden waste so green bins can be used for the collection of cardboard and paper.
Some people have asked would it not make more sense just to keep the green bin for garden waste and use the new brown bin for the collection cardboard and paper.
This would be the simplest approach but also the most expensive option. Not all residents signed up the chargeable garden waste scheme when launched last year and therefore many green bins remain unused in residents' gardens. These would be better put to use to collect cardboard and paper and a new brown bin introduced only to those residents that sign up to the garden waste scheme.
If the brown bin was to be used to collect cardboard and paper the Council would have to provide these bins to over 48,000 properties in the borough. Just under half of homes (22,000) signed up to the garden waste collection services in 2017/18. But almost every resident has a green bin from when the garden waste collection service was introduced free of charge, even if they are not currently signed up to the service.
Therefore it is much better value for money for the Council – and therefore the Council taxpayer – to use green bins already at people's properties for recycling paper and cardboard and brown bins be introduced only to the homes using the garden waste collection service.
Residents who are not currently signed up for the Garden Waste Collection Services and therefore do not have a green bin will receive one for cardboard and paper recycling, free of charge if they request one before 4 June 2018. After that they will have to pay £25.
The changes to the bins will take effect on 4 June 2018 and soon a leaflet will be distributed to every household to explain the changes in more detail.
Some people have asked about the risk of cross contamination by changing the use of the green bin from garden waste to paper and cardboard. The Council would encourage people to wash the green bins out if at all possible, but if they can't do this it is not essential as the risk of cross contamination is low and would not create any significant problems in terms of processing this material. Any remnants of garden waste in the bins are likely to disappear quite quickly.
Some residents that had more than one green bin for garden waste have complained that the introduction of the brown bin will lead to them having up to six bins, e.g. two for paper and cardboard and two for garden waste. It is envisaged that most households will have four bins, the Council will remove any extra green bins from resident's properties when the brown bins are delivered. If residents want to purchase extra bins for garden waste this is entirely up to them.
Some residents have welcomed the idea of having a bin for cardboard and paper recycling to replace the blue bag which has been used for that type of waste. Residents will have more capacity to store cardboard and paper preventing them from having to take it to a recycling centre. It also means that this waste will be better contained so it will not end up blowing around the streets, increasing costs to the Council and the Council Taxpayer when the street cleansing teams need to be deployed to clear it up.
The paper and cardboard collected is recycled into new paper and cardboard and the garden waste is processed to make compost.
The Council would like to remind all residents to make sure that they have the correct bins to recycle their waste. Only those residents that are unable to have bins due to vehicle access issues will remain on bags and boxes. For more information of the types of containers available, materials that can be recycled or to sign up the garden waste scheme, visit garden waste and what goes in my bins, bags and boxes.