While most people write to me about national issues, a number of residents have been contacting my office about their recycling bins lately.
Tamworth and Lichfield have a joint waste collection service and are doing what they can to ensure as much waste is recycled as possible.
Stickers are being put on all blue bins in Tamworth to remind people not to use black bin liners in their recycling bins. Recently five truck-loads of recycling was turned away from recycling at the sorting plant due to contamination by black bin liners.
It is not that black bin liners cannot be recycled into new materials, they just require a different collection system and processing due to the dyes and types of plastic used. Black plastic is low value as it cannot be dyed, so it is used for bin liners, food trays, pvc pipes for gutters etc... Black bags also make it difficult for the bin collection staff to determine whether what is placed in the bin is actually recyclable.
That is why the Council are placing stickers on blue bin lids and have confirmed that they will not empty the blue bin if it contains black bin liners. Clear bags are fine but the Council's preference is for recycling to be loose in the blue bin and for recyclables to be washed first where possible.
If you have an overflow of recycling, an additional bin can be ordered or if you have too much on occasion (such as after Christmas) recycling bagged in carrier bags or clear bags placed next to your bin will be accepted.
Around 85% of the waste that local residents put into recycling are turned into new items, so your recycling really does make a difference.
Finally if your bin is missed or lost, call 0345 002 0022. The crew aim to provide a new bin, or return to empty the bin within three days of you reporting it.