One of the new recycling bags
One of the new recycling bags

The councillor responsible for waste collection in Lichfield and Burntwood says she hopes the area will become the top recycling location in the country.

Cllr Liz Little has returned to Lichfield District Council’s cabinet in the wake of Cllr Ashley Yeates’ decision to step down in the wake of the controversial roll out of new blue bags.

In a written question at a meeting of the local authority last week, opposition Labour group leader Cllr Steve Norman asked for clarity on what the aims would be.

“I welcome Cllr Little to her new post and hope that she seeks assistance from the overview and scrutiny committee to look at ways of improving the recycling rate for Lichfield District Council.

“To that end, will she consider other schemes run by more successful councils such as St Albans City and District Council that has a recycling rate of 64.2% compared to Lichfield’s 45.9%, and residual household waste of 335.50kg per household compared to Lichfield’s 528.70kg, and particularly to look at their weekly collection of kitchen waste that has contributed to this success?”

Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Little said she was keen to set the bar high and bring the district towards the top of the recycling league table.

“We are aware that Lichfield District Council recycling rates have decreased over the years.

“We’ve got an ambitious 65% recycling rate which would make us number one in the country – the move to dual stream will help us reaching that figure.

“Cllr Norman you are correct that food waste would help in the reducing of the residual rates and in time further improve the recycling rates. In fact the proposed schemes from government would mandate the collection of kitchen waste.

“It has and will further be discussed whether we in fact wait for the mandating decision or whether we move to implement a food waste collection service early, I am sure scrutiny would be involved in the making of either of those decisions.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

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  1. I do hope that our recycling will be reviewed….several years ago ( the days of the green boxes) we were one of the top recycling districts in the uk….then we amalgamated with another borough and the recycling went down hill….in my opinion. I can only speak for myself, and what I hear my neighbours say, a lot of things we used to recycle, eg, shopping/ polythene bags, milk cartons, can’t go into blue bin….they now go into black bin….Recycling seems to be going backwards….why?
    Tell us about what recycling….what happens to it?…where does it go?……Speak to us….the public…. we want to know and understand…..

  2. Why do we keep recyling the Cabinet members? is their no other Councilors fit to sit on the Cabinet and bring a breath of fresh air into the circle

  3. Why can we not recycle tetra packs when it clearly states very proudly on pack new 100% recyclable packaging!!
    Soon filling up black bins in Lichfield what a waste more and more going to landfill

  4. Womble we could recycle tetra paks and similar others until the pink bin arrived with new rules. Welcome to the world of councilors

  5. My supplementary question to Cllr Little was about the “Comms Plan” the Leader had promised on 6th of May but which then missed two deadlines. I did receive a draft plan the day after my question at the Council meeting but the last news release on LDC’s website is still the one dated 29th of April and disowned by the same council.

    So, if I can help with some answers in the absence of this:

    Yes, Irene, under the Labour Council 1995-1999, and I was the Chairman of Environmental and Health Services, we brought in kerbside collections, the first council in Staffordshire to do so, and went from the inherited 0.02% to the government’s then target for councils of 25% recycled when the Conservatives won control back. We also brought in the free brown bins for composting garden and kitchen waste.

    Womble: Tetra packs can only be recycled now at the recycling/tips in Burntwood and Lichfield and I’ve checked that the banks are indeed there. Biffa, in Aldridge, where we take our recyclables, no longer take them for whatever reason.

    Here’s a video of the sorting and recycling process that I have suggested goes on to the LDC website so people can see what is involved – but it has still not been accepted.

    They were still accepting newspaper mixed with other recycling at the time the video was made. Note the guy taking photos of a load just over a minute in. Any contaminated loads are rejected at a cost – to us – of £110 a tonne.

    I hope that is helpful – but it would be better if it was on the Council’s website.

  6. You are quite correct Irene Froggat.Many moons ago Lichfield was one of the top areas in the whole of the UK management of the treatment of household refuse -soon we will need a University degree to work out what goes into what bin /bag ,when and where, why and what for.The whole organization is a joke ,how many thousands of rate payers pounds have been spent on Green Bins ,Blue Bins,Brown Bins,Black Bins,Blue Bags ,some the right size ,some not the right size et al and ad infinitum.Answers on a postage stamp please

  7. It seems there is so much confusion that placing more stuff into the black bin seems the best option in order to definitely get the blue bins emptied at all – labels have changed ! rules have changed ! – we now seem to be recycling less. Why?

  8. Might be a good idea to ask the rate payers of Lichfield and Burntwood on their thoughts on recycling.
    I know it’s a silly idea for the Council to ask the people who pay for this service to give their views, LDC just think we are a big money tree to shake to fill the coffers.

  9. Lichfield has not got a snowballs chance I hell of being no 1 recycling council again without serious investment- so that’s not going to happen.

    Added to that they would need to collect food waste and increase the brown bin collections, possibly by making them free again.

    They are, of course victims of whatever waste company they use for sorting the materials and if that company has nowhere to sell certain materials, then they don’t accept them (as in the case of tetrapak).

  10. According to LDC website the contents of our black bins goes here: “All waste from your black bin is sent to a plant (Energy from Waste plan, Four Ashes) where it is converted into energy.”, so not to landfill.

  11. If you want to do that you had better roll out the purple/pink bins to everyone, not just the priveleged few. Because of these ridiculous bags, my recyling has dropped by 75% as all my card and paper is now being put in the garden incinerator and it only takes 10 mins to burn 2 weeks of cardboard. It did this week anyway, and that will continue until they get rid of those bags.

  12. Lichfield is nothing compared to St Alban’s. And that’s because of the dinosaurs we have in LDC.

  13. I received infamous recycling bag last week and found a leaflet with new recycling advice. According to this leaflet we are going to recycle less, as tetra packs and different types of plastic are no longer recycled by the council. How is that going to increase the recycling rate? As for kitchen waste… Will there be another charge just like for garden waste? The council previously decided it is too expensive to treat food waste from the brown bin. Will there be another bag or container to add to our ever expanding wheelie bin collection? Perhaps the council should look into the recycling sites. I visited recycling centre over the weekend. Extremely busy as always with only two site attendants. The content in skips was not segregated properly, so I can only assume it won’t be recycled and they’ll be given a yellow note!

  14. It would be nice to have the bins emptied without having to phone and reporting a missed bin, both blue and black…..since the combine of the service it’s been rubbish ( pardon the pun)

  15. Paul Hill we are not privileged to have a pink bin, the pink bin is emptied once a month as is our blue bin and it joins the others making a row of 4 outside the house

  16. Can’t we just sack the counselors who brought the blue bags in got to get rid of there’s nutters

  17. I am now so confused about what kind of plastic can go in the blue bin that most of it will go in the black bin because I dont want my blue bin to be rejected again like last week! very frustrating, if we have been given clear guidance somehow I have missed it!

  18. The constantly changing and ill thought through ideas, shows a lack of interest from the council. The confusion and time hungry sorting makes the black bin the easy option. Until it makes sense and works for the residents, the council can talk all it likes. It need the residents on side, not isolating them by refusing bins and having there rubbish gone through.

  19. I recycled my green waste when it was in my payment of my rates,but now I put in the black bin which my payment of rates cover, how many times do the council want me to pay for a very poor service

  20. Just how many times are the LDC going to change the rules on recycling ? It’s no wonder that folks are going crazy and putting everything into the black bin. LDC, YOU are the cause of the dismal recycling figures. Take responsibility, own up, ask the council tax payers how they would proceed and then TELL the companies you deal with regards the recycling what they are going to get !!!

  21. So we are going to have a good waste container? Just like we did around 15 years ago; we were issued with a small brown lidded plastic container. If it didn’t work then why will it work now?

  22. Since the scheme was lanched ,our blue bin has not been emptied twice due to two slight mistakes.I am a great believer in recycling but now I’m tempted to put alot more rubbish in the black bin.My main concern is that it could lead to fly tipping.

  23. I live in an apartment block & the information on the LDC website re blue bags said that alternative arrangements would be made for multi occupancy, our managing agents were also told this. Last week a pile of blue bags was left when our blue bins were emptied, we’re still waiting for them to be collected and to be informed of how this new scheme will work for us. Typical public sector inefficiency! I suppose all the focus is now on the transformation of the Frog Lane council offices into a small business hub/coffee shop, what a complete waste of our council tax!

  24. It is a laudable target, but ordering the wrong sized bags , and not everybody been given them, it is not a good start.
    Let’s hope it is sorted soon, most people seem to be doing their bit to help, down to the council now,

  25. Ray Bowers – be careful it is 3 strikes and you are out.

    Recycling not sorted correctly cannot be collected
    Our waste collection team will now be checking every bin prior to collection.

    Any bin or bag containing recycling that shouldn’t be in there, will be rejected and will not be collected.

    The first time this happens, we will return to collect it within a couple of days. We know that learning a new way to do something can be tough.

    The second time it happens we will reject your bag or bin and will only return in a month to collect, at your next due date.

    After this time, if you are not able to separate your recycling we will not be able to collect it and you will need to dispose of it yourself at your local council recycling centre.

  26. @Dale, I take it the waste collection team keep a record of ‘offenders’ i.e. those on the naughty step and how many strikes they are up to?

    What happens after the third strike? Is it a life collection ban or a spell in the sin bin? (sorry!).

    What happens if an offender moves house? I assume the new occupant starts with a clean slate?

  27. 9 weeks since our blue bin was emptied and now we have blue bags and they are full as well they want us to recycle but they can’t even empty the bins so what’s the point.

  28. @Dale, apologies for shooting the messenger, I followed the the link and noted you have cut and pasted from the LDC website.

    My questions are valid though but not for you to answer I guess.

  29. Well well, since the start of the miniature blue bag collection, the promises from LDC stating that the weight in the bottom of the bag will resist all weathers. Whilst driving home from work, in a moderate breeze, in Burntwood and I could not believe it, I could actually, there were 7 blue bags blowing down the road.
    Yet again LDC, you have failed. Absolute jokers!!!!!!!!.

  30. All organic waste ought to be processed in an anaerobic digester, this is not new technology and is used by many farms to produce biomethane to heat their buildings. Black bin waste is presently incinerated; while this captures most of the heat energy, the heat also produces nitrogen oxides (NOx) which are harmful to our health and the environment, and if there is any PVC plastic in the waste (the stuff used to make uPVC windows and some packaging) it can produce very toxic chlorinated dioxines and dibenzofurans.

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