Future of East Lindsey waste debated after ‘alliance’

East Lindsey district council met to discuss the future of its waste service, as it enters an “alliance” with Boston borough and South Holland councils this month.

Lincolnshire- based East Lindsey joined a partnership with Boston and South Holland councils

The partnership will see senior offices at East Lindsey now working across all three councils, to share “expertise, teams and resources”.

Each council will remain independent.

Twin stream

Victoria Burgess, assistant director for operations at both East Lindsey district council and Boston borough council, lead the meeting on 7 September by giving an update on waste services.

Within the update, she announced the decision to introduce a twin stream recycling collection in East Lindsey, following a successful roll out of the system in Boston.

She added that this is mainly to “ensure the quality” of the recycling collected from the kerbside.

Ms Burgess explained that the plan for East Lindsey is to adopt a similar structure to that in Boston, where residents are provided with an extra, purple container for paper and cardboard.

This will be collected as part of a four-weekly collection rota, with residual waste collected once every two weeks, and each recycling container be collected once a month.

Ms Burgess also revealed that rolling out the system in Boston has lead to significant improvements in its contamination rate, falling from 35% to 20% since it was implemented in April.

Glass

Glass collections are widely implemented, I could only find two councils that were not collecting glass, other than East Lindsey. So why are we not collecting glass? And can we do it as soon as possible? – Cllr Mossop, East Lindsey council

In response however, opposition councillors raised the concern that implementing kerbside glass collections should be the council’s main priority.

Over the course of the pandemic, East Lindsey council reported a “significant rise” in general waste weight, in particular the amount of glass bottles, as people were consuming drinks at home rather than going out.

Glass tonnages in the area have increased from around 2,000 tonnes a month to 4,000 tonnes a year.

Labour councillor Rosalind Jackson raised concerns that the only solution for glass recycling in the district remains a few bring bank sites, which are too far out for many residents to access easily.

Independent councillor Edward Mossop echoed concerns around a lack of glass recycling alternatives, however strongly urged the council to implement collections from the kerbside.

He said: “We should be doing this on the kerbside and not going to these bring sites. I’m well versed in complaining about the state about the sites in the past. These bring sites are absolutely failing.

“Glass collections are widely implemented, I could only find two councils that were not collecting glass, other than East Lindsey. So why are we not collecting glass? And can we do it as soon as possible?”

Behavior change

Cllr Jill Makinson-Saunders strongly advised against both proposals.

Councillors criticised the area’s current glass bring bank system

She argued that streets are becoming “slums”, as properties have too many bins on the street, stating that residents will not be on board with receiving an extra container for paper and card.

With regards to glass collections, Cllr Saunders said that the council needs to push for behaviour change and engagement with residents, rather than implementing glass collections.

Cllr Saunders said: “I really do think that if you can be bothered to buy a bottle, why can’t you be bothered to put it in a bag and recycle it properly. Don’t we have some personal responsibility? If people can buy a case of wine, go and get rid of it properly at the bring site.

“I think we will have a real uphill struggle with this. The practicalities of it, is that we have to get people on board with it, and they won’t be.”

Response

Responding to concerns, Ms Burgess reassured Cllr Saunders that East Lindsey will be looking to drive “reduce and reuse” messages to the public, accepting that it is a point for improvement for the council.

On the issue of glass, she added that the council is keeping an eye on the Environment Bills passage through parliament, to see what will be mandatory under the reforms.

She concluded by noting the increase in glass tonnages’, flagging the need for a better glass recycling system in the future.

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