Officers from the City Council’s Waste Management service will be at the meeting to explain the new recycling collection service being introduced across the City.
Cristina Calleja, Waste Minimisation Officer with Leicester City Council, explained that, following receipt of feedback that residents wanted to be able to recycle a greater variety of materials, a new recycling scheme had been trialled over the previous six months.
During the trial, approximately 6,500 properties had been given orange recycling bags, in which a range of recyclable materials could be placed. This range was wider than under the current recycling scheme. The trail had been very successful, with recycling rates doubling and participation increasing greatly. As a result, it had been decided to extend the new scheme across the City.
During the first two weeks of October 2011, all households and flats that currently used green recycling boxes would be given a roll of orange bags. In areas where recycling collections currently were not made, the scheme would be phased in over the next year.
Cristina Calleja explained that:-
· Collections under the new scheme would start during the week beginning 17 October 2011;
· Orange bags should be put out for collection with refuse bins;
· New bags could be requested by writing your property number on the sticker included in the roll of orange bags and putting this out with recycling materials left for collection. This sticker could be found five bags before the end of the roll;
· There was no limit on the number of orange bags that could be put out for collection;
· If large pieces of cardboard were flattened and placed underneath orange bags, they would be taken by the collectors;
· Collections would continue to be made on a weekly basis;
· A new fleet of compactor vehicles was being obtained. The old collection lorries would be used by another Council for its recycling scheme;
· If recycling bags contained materials that could not be taken, the bag would be tagged to advise the householder of this. A follow-up visit also would be made to the property, to ensure that the residents were aware of how the new scheme operated; and
· Separation of different materials for recycling previously had been done manually, which was resource intensive and carried health and safety risks. Under the new scheme, most separation would be done mechanically at a centre near Birmingham.
It was noted that the carbon footprint of the new scheme would be lower than not collecting the additional items. Currently, organic waste was extracted at the ball mill and energy was produced from plastic and cardboard. This had been sold to operate cement kilns, but during the recent recession, it had not been possible to sell to these any more. To avoid having to send the waste to landfill, a contract had been entered in to with a company in the Netherlands, which would burn the waste to produce energy.
In response to a question, Cristina Calleja confirmed that rubbish bins and recycling bags could be left out between 7.00 pm on the evening before collection day and 7.00 am on collection day. The City Wardens would be treating recycling bags left on streets at other times in the same way as bins left on streets. During the trial, there had not been a problem with scavengers such as dogs or foxes tearing the recycling bags as long as the recyclable items were washed.