Residents of North Lincolnshire Council will be able to recycle plastic food containers, bottle tops and lids together once again following the decision to drop its previous MRF operator, which said the mixed plastics caused a “contamination problem”.
In March, residents were told they could no longer put plastic food containers or bottle tops and lids of a certain polymer type in their recycling after the un-named MRF operator said it would no longer take the material, citing contamination as the problem.
This led to increased costs for the council and reduced the range of plastics accepted down to just plastic bottles in an attempt to reduce the problem of contamination.
Feedback from residents, however, made it clear they did not want to be restricted by polymer type.
As a result the council worked with its recycling contractor, SITA UK, to move to a different MRF operator, sending test loads for six months prior to switching.
“In sending test loads to various MRFs it has become clear that our contamination was not as bad as they [the previous MRF operators] claimed”
“In sending test loads to various MRFs it has become clear that our contamination was not as bad as they [the previous MRF operators] claimed,” a council spokesperson said. “We and SITA have been able to hold meaningful negotiations with other MRF operators to put together the new service.”
By changing the company that processes the waste, the polymer type is no longer an issue and people will be able to recycle more plastics.
Cllr Liz Redfern, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “We have listened to residents and taken on board their comments. As a result, we have been working behind the scenes to improve the service. We are working with a different company to process the waste so you can now recycle more. We have a current recycling rate of 44 percent.”
John Coates, head of the council’s waste services, said: “It is vitally important that people don’t put their rubbish in the wrong bin. It is costing taxpayers thousands of pounds in landfill costs simply because some people can¹t be bothered to separate their rubbish.
“It costs us around £40 more for every tonne of waste that goes to landfill – this is waste that could have been recycled. Unfortunately, it is the minority of people who are spoiling it for others.”