People in Lichfield and Burntwood could have to separate some items that currently go in their blue bins under plans to be discussed by councillors.

The proposals will be debated by Lichfield District Council’s cabinet on 6th July.

A report recommends a change which will see people have to separate paper and card from glass, cans and plastics.

The plans would see residents given an additional bin or bag.

The council says the system is used by other local authorities and is shown to increase recycling rates.

Cllr Ashley Yeates, cabinet member responsible for recycling, said:

“How we collect and dispose of recycling is changing right across the country.

“The previous method of putting all the recycling in one bin just doesn’t allow enough of the material to be effectively recycled.

“Too much of our recycling is contaminated and cannot be effectively reprocessed, which means we recycle less.

“Like many authorities, we’re looking at how we can adapt our collections to improve recycling rates. Separating out the paper and card is an important step we can take to improve what we send to be recycled.

“Any proposed changes will not happen before the summer of 2022, so there will be plenty of time to prepare and make the switch as simple as possible.”

Cllr Ashley Yeates, Lichfield District Council

Tamworth Borough Council will also consider the proposals as part of the joint waste service on 8th July.

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43 Comments

  1. No thanks. I won’t be having yet another bin from LDC – three is enough (and takes up plenty of room on my property as it is). If they won’t accept paper and card in the blue bin, it’ll get bagged in the black bin with the rest. Less hassle.

  2. So we used to sort our recyclable waste into different bins/boxes back in the ‘olden days’ when recycling first started. We used to be top of the charts for recycling rates. I have always thought shoving everything in one bin was a step backwards.

  3. It is amazing to think that former Conservative Local Government Minister, Eric Pickles, wanted to force councils to empty black bins every week. Fortunately councils of every colour rejected this ridiculous idea.

    These new proposals are just the start and we will need to adapt – if we care about the planet.

  4. Please please not another bin, where are we suppose to keep them all. Perhaps it’s time to follow the ways of Spain (Costa del sol) and have communal ones whereby the a small bin is above ground but paper and bottles fall into a larger one below the pavement of which is emptied weekly. Check it out councillors, seems to work for them.

  5. We used to have boxes for papers etc. As the binmen came early in the morning, most of us put the recycling out the night before. If it was windy overnight, papers would be scattered everywhere. We don’t want a return to that … !

  6. It will not work. The council needs to put pressure on central government to force retailers to make it easier for us to recycle more.

  7. No were will l do that l have 3 big blue bins as it is and there 6 off us 4 kids 2 adults l think you need more cleans for the bus station in lichfield there was a right mess today l cant use one toilet

  8. We have a small side alley. No more room for another bin. A box for glass would sit on the tip. We had one in Walsall. A bag would be o.k.

  9. So where do i keep the proposed bin or bag? I struggle with the 3 i have. How long till they carge for the recycling bins to be taken like the gardening ones? I think these councillors really need to SPEAK to people not just foist these hair brained scheme’s upon us.
    Will the bins be collected separately as thats going to cost the council a lot more than it currently does. Or is this the how they will justify the increases in council tax. Beware folks the hike will come.

  10. Wouldn’t want to go back to the bad old days of those stupid boxes and the rubbish blowing down the street. Wouldn’t object to a bin within the bin (blue) to collect paper or glass#plastics#tin but defo not another bin…three is enough.

  11. In Norway you pay a deposit on your glass bottles from the supermarket and then return the empties, pop them in the bottle collecting contraption and get your deposit back. The Germans, meanwhile, had a phase where people were protesting against packaging waste by unwrapping their purchases before leaving the shop and leaving the packaging behind for the shop to deal with.

    Perhaps shops here could be doing more to take back packaging instead of so much going into curbside collections? I vaguely remember some places having deposits on returnable bottles here once upon a time. I’m not saying this would solve everything, but it would help.

  12. Reading the story it seems the change is going to happen whatever the public think.
    I do not want another bin, I have three on my drive, four is simply a bin too far.
    Government should force retailers to cut down on packaging, how often have you bought a small item from Amazon and not only Amazon and it comes in a box that’s too big and stuffed with brown paper or bubble wrap?
    And yes, how soon will we start being charged for the weight of rubbish / recycling we are putting out.
    This is a sure sign that fly tipping will be on the increase.

  13. It is no surprise that the council is back talking rubbish. The rates, and extra charges for green waste, should cover all eventualities. All metals are ‘metal’ but I have had bins rejected because some was not in the shape of a can! It’s bad enough navigating the pavements now. Extra bins and boxes will make matters that much worse.

  14. If it ain’t broke why fix it no mess in the streets
    I just wish councils in Staffordshire would get their priorities right like filling the potholes in and stop putting speed humps were they are not needed when you already have camaras

  15. It won’t make a difference the council will ignore the people or pass the buck,why is it every time the council’s have issues they pass it back to the people I guess the last 12+months there have been adjustments to people’s working conditions so poss less people doing more work because more People worked from home.No I don’t want another bin I sorted stuff recently in my bin for the in men to leave stuff behind sort your own house at the council before you make more rules to sort ours

  16. Birmingham Council have a section for paper/cardboard in the bottle bin. Why not adopt this method in our Blue bin?

  17. Back in the day, as a result of an EU packaging directive, we had regulations in this country for packaging. The directive, amongst other things, called for companies to reduce their packaging and register if they produced above a certain amount. In places like Germany, people could leave or return the packaging to the shop to deal with. All of this seems to have been forgotten in this country, and the amount of packaging is out of control. Add to this that a lot of stuff put for recycling ends up in landfill as there’s no market for it (and are we still sending such waste to the third world?), and we have a crisis that the public are being expected to deal with under false pretences. We put around eighty percent of our domestic waste for recycling, but I am less than convinced that the system is working.

  18. We have enough difficulty accommodating 3 bins because of no side entrance to our property. The last thing I need is another one.

  19. Have some friends who live in east staffs and they have a bag for paper and cardboard which seems to work ok for them, we certainly wouldn’t have room for another bin, as I’m sure a lot of other residents wouldn’t either. Agree with other comments that boxes wouldn’t work especially in the bad weather.

  20. I sympathise with problems already mentioned. I share a side alley with my neighbour, and bins are kept in my small back garden until bin emptying day. Another bin would be difficult, but we need to do all we can to ensure we recycle as much as possible. Maybe the council should ask us to make positive suggestions about how this can be done.

  21. we have to separate ours in cheshire. I think all areas are going to end up running very much the same way.

  22. I would like the evidence that my current recycle bin is actually being recycled and not sent abroad. We actually wash every tin, jar and plastic container through the dishwasher and take time to ensure that only recyclable items go into the bin. But I am aware of others that don’t. I would happily separate but not into a bin as I don’t have the space. However as I’m sure this council as with most politicians won’t listen to the people they represent another hun will be foisted upon us regardless

  23. Agree with the comments above. Recyclable plastic bags for paper and cardboard waste could work but please no more bins!

  24. So they are giving us plastic bags to put paper and card into or another plastic bin.will the plastic bags be recyclable?
    I am on an assisted bin collection as I’m disabled.I have 4 bins (1 black, 1 brown and 2 blue) and every 2 weeks I have to telephone up as they forget to collect my recycling or garden waste bin.may be if they could get the service they are supposed to provide right then I would agree.I recycle as much as possible and wash all recycling but could local councils charge shops in there district who use to much plastic.could the shops please stop using so much packaging. Is it really necessary to wrap fruit and vegetables in plastic. Is it necessary for carrots,cauliflowers and cucumber to be wrapped in plastic, Could they not provide paper bags so you only buy what you need….cut down on food waste as well.

  25. Dear LDC, instead of passing the buck down on to your rate paying residents why don’t you use your well paid brain and see if you can come up with an innovative solution for once. I won’t hold my breath.

  26. How are the extra bins to be collected? The bin lorries already do two runs every other week for blue and brown bins. Has anyone told them they will have to do three? And will they be reminded to return the bins to where they got them from instead of leaving them littered over the pavements as they usually do? Can we have some figures for how much of the waste in the blue bins is actually recycled, so we know our efforts are not in vain? I am sure we all want to play our part, but how well is the system working now? And why isn’t pressure being applied to the waste producers to reduce packaging? There has been some limited action by individual supermarket chains, but the likes of Amazon are churning out cardboard to a ridiculous extent.

  27. Sigh…

    Article describes how LDC are looking at a different approach to collecting waste for recycling, so that they can reduce the amount wasted through contamination.

    Lichfield Live commentators respond mainly with:
    “Why should I have to take responsibility for protecting the environment? …change it and I just won’t bother anymore…..Why isn’t LDC sorting out the national legislation around packaging?…Prove to me that the system that LDC have said needs to be improved is working properly before you try to change it…. ”

    I’m so glad I don’t work for LDC, because the irrational knee jerk negativity towards them on here is something to behold…

  28. Asellus aquaticus – very well said. Comments generally have just become a constant whinge fest on Lichfield Live, I don’t think it was always that way. I know things aint great, and people aren’t happy, but I don’t see that moaning online about every story going is good for either individual happiness or the community in general. And yes I’m aware that I’m just whinging about the whingers myself. Someone tell a good joke quick, or even a bad one. We all need cheering up.

  29. Well Asellus and Chris, the council had boxes for the separation of paper and card from other recyclables. They decided to abandon that policy for a mixed bin collection. It looks like they intend to reverse this arrangement again. This is not without substantial costs due to providing all households with extra receptacles again. Do you really think this should not attract some criticism?
    I live in my adopted city which is rapidly degenerating to a mediocre, unattractive shadow of what it once was. Who is responsible for this? Why am I not laughing?

  30. I suspect a significant proportion of waste still goes to landfill or incineration not recycling/re-use. Of course with incineration the claim is always that it involves energy recovery…….a dubious justification. Wouldn’t it be useful for the Council to make it clear, on a monthly basis, just how much recycling actually happens? It all seems to hinge on volatile markets for each recycling category, metal paper, glass etc and ultimately whether there is profit in recycling or not. There is also the need for incinerator operators to recoup their huge capital investment. So, it probably means we either accept the cost of recycling or accept landfill/incineration.

  31. I’m sure a device could be developed to fit over the bin that channels the different types into separate chambers when emptied.

  32. To me another bin wouldn’t be of any problem, but I foresee it would for others with limited space they have enough problems leaving the bins out on the street. I think more could be done a source by the supermarkets / shops / warehouses etc by using less packaging and making it possible to return packaging to them or even removing package at the premises be it at the shops or on deliveries at the door. But whatever the result we need to recycle more packaging and use a lot less plastic !

  33. @Philip. Just look at the negative comments on here about the boxes as well as the bins. Yes, LDC doesn’t get everything right, but one thing’s for sure, whatever they do will get a blast of negativity on here. Sometimes, for the sake of your own mental wellbeing, it’s good to try to focus on the positives. In fact, I probably need to take my own advice and not get wound up by the incessant flow of misery about how awful Lichfield has become in the comments section…

  34. The plan for this is to stop mixing materials.

    Are the council going to buy new trucks? Either to allow them to empty paper and card into one part of the truck and the plastics and metals, into another part?

    Unlikely, they are more likely to move to 3 weekly collection.

  35. Most Council Recycling Centres in U.K. have plant that separates the glass/plastic/aluminium/steel. Why not Lichfield ?

  36. Have you ever been to the Lichfield recycling centre, the site is barely large enough for the lorries that empty the containers, it has needed to be moved to a larger site for a very long time but SCC are dragging their heels.

  37. I live in a block of 12 flats and onle 3 residents including myself bother to put the 5 blue bins out. I hope they give us a couple of bins for the paper as I cant see some of the tennants bothering with bags and we will end up separating the paper ourselves. We have just educated most of the tennants to stop putting food a d dirty nappies in the blue bins!. Or one large bin.

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