The Executive Director for Corporate and Commercial Services submitted a report that sought approval on the changes to the recycling service in those areas with communal recycling containers in back alleys, where it was proposed to move to an individual clear plastic sack based recycling service on a fortnightly basis.
After receiving funding from Central Government to refresh the operation of the recycling service as a whole, Middlesbrough Council changed householders onto an individual 240 litre blue lidded wheeled bin, serviced on a fortnightly basis. For terraced properties, and flats the Council introduced communal 1100 litre blue lidded communal recycling bins, also emptied on a fortnightly basis.
Since the introduction of the new bins, the level of recycling participation and the tonnage of material recycled had increased significantly, however there had significant issues with contamination, which resulted in the Council bringing the service back in-house.
Bringing the service in-house had allowed collection staff and management to monitor the issues as they arose and it was evident that there was a major problem with contamination in areas with communal recycling bins.
Efforts to address the issue through waste education had very limited success.
The report outlined in further detail that there were two options available:
Option 1 - To continue with the existing provision. Not recommended.
Option 2 - To remove the communal recycling bins from rear alleys and replace with individual sack based front street recycling collection. Preferred option.
That the proposal to convert the communal recycling bins for use as additional refuse bins and the introduction of a clear sack based individual recycling collection for residents in the affected areas be approved.
The decision was supported by the following reason:
To bring about significant environmental improvement in the back alleys, to reduce levels of contamination in the communal recycling bins, and to provide a similar level of recycling service currently offered to those properties on individual wheeled bins.