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St Helens' recycling shake-up faces first test
10:53pm Sunday 22nd September 2013 in News
A NEW bin collection service that aims to boost recycling rates will begin in St Helens from Monday.
The change, which requires residents to divide waste into four recycling containers as well as leaving green and brown bins out on alternate weeks, has prompted considerable debate.
St Helens Council wants to increase recycling from 30 per cent to 50 per cent to meet EU targets for reducing landfill.
But some residents have been critical of the council’s move, arguing that the amount of containers is unnecessary and will lead to confusion.
People with smaller homes also say they find it difficult to store a combination of six bins, bags and boxes.
Food waste can be placed in caddies - to be left out with other recycling containers on the same day each week.
However, some Star readers say there caddies have not been delivered despite orders having been placed three weeks ago.
But a councillor tasked with overseeing the change has insisted residents will face just “minor adjustments”.
Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron said: “These are big changes for the council, but for most residents it will mean fairly minor adjustments.
“If anything, it will be a lot easier from now on, with everyone having just one collection day for everything – every single week.
“And with recycling collections taking place every week, we‘ll start to see brown bin contents – the stuff that all ends up in landfill sites – dropping dramatically. That’s good news for us and good news for the environment.”
Cllr Gomez-Aspron, meanwhile, has mounted a robust defence of the scheme via his Twitter account, where he has been questioned by council taxpayers.
What goes into the different containers is also changing in some cases. For instance, brown cardboard will now go into black boxes, while cans should be placed in the pink bag.
The council last week urged residents “to be patient” when ordering new recycling containers.
Demand for the containers has soared in the last few weeks leaving under pressure phone line staff to ask residents to consider going online to place orders.
The council’s recycling team is stressing that most households will already have all the containers they need to get started.
A spokesman said: “Black boxes, green and brown wheelie bins, pink bags and blue bags are all mainstays of the new system.”
Household information packs explaining the changes – and telling people what their collection day is – have been distributed.
Anyone who hasn’t received their pack can call St Helens Council on 01744 676789 to order theirs.
Anyone who does need new boxes and bags can order them online at www.sthelens.gov.uk/containers. Alternatively call the council on 01744 676789.
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