Lincolnshire's purple recycling bin roll-out moves on

South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) is considering the introduction of purple-lidded wheelie bins, following successful rollouts in four other areas of Lincolnshire.
Purple recycling bins are set to be rolled out in South Kesteven.Purple recycling bins are set to be rolled out in South Kesteven.
Purple recycling bins are set to be rolled out in South Kesteven.

The first collection could commence as early as February 2024.

Councillor Rhys Baker, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, said: “It will mean paper and card can be kept clean, dry and separate from other recycling so it can be sent to a dedicated UK processor.

“The introduction of the purple-lidded bin in other areas of Lincolnshire has proved that collecting paper and cardboard separately is the most efficient and effective method of collecting good quality material for recycling, which we hope residents will support.”

He further added that the new scheme would be a significant change for residents, and the council would ensure they are well-informed about the changes.

The initiative has already proven successful in other areas of Lincolnshire, showing that separate collection of paper and cardboard is the most efficient and effective method of collecting good quality material for recycling.

More than 18,183.5 tonnes of separate fibre has been collected since April 2021.

Paper reprocessor Palm Recycling has previously reported that the waste from Lincolnshire was the highest quality material presented to them by any local authority client in the country. The company found that the waste had an average contamination rate of just 1.5 per cent.

Councillor Daniel McNally, Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive Member for Waste, said, “Across Lincolnshire we have been looking at ways to try and improve the quality of all the recycling we collect and support our residents to put the right thing in the right bin.”

He further emphasised that the goal is to recycle as much waste as possible.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting service that the scheme had been “really good” so far with the county recycling around 98-99 per cent pure cardboard and paper and contamination ratio rates decreasing by between 15-20 per cent.

The purple bin initiative has not been without controversy. The “tags of shame” system, which was introduced to encourage proper recycling, has been met with mixed reactions from residents.

Some argue that they should not have to do the council’s job for them, while others believe the tags are an effective way to educate the public about correct recycling practices.

Councillor McNally said the latter was true as it helped increase communication with residents alongside visits from council staff.

In response to those who claimed residents were paying council tax to do a service the council should carry out on their behalf, he said: “Everyone has to do their bit for the recycling rate. We’re all responsible for it, we can’t just pass the buck all the time.

“We have to take some sort of social responsibility.”

The scheme has led to a significant improvement in the quality of waste material.

According to a previous report to LCC, the average contamination rate of waste up to February dropped from 31 per cent to just 1.5 per cent since the introduction of the scheme.

Back in South Kesteven, the scheme would replace one of the existing fortnightly recycling collections, ensuring no increase in mileage and associated carbon emissions of the council fleet.

The costs would be met by Lincolnshire County Council, which is responsible for disposing of waste across the county.

The roll-out of separate paper and card collections is proposed to begin in the autumn with publicity and delivery of bins.

The first collection would be February 2024.

The scheme was initially introduced in North Kesteven, Boston, and South Holland, where over 7,200 households began putting their clean, dry paper and card into a separate purple recycling bin.

Only three authorities are yet to introduce the change, South Kesteven, South Holland District Council and the City of Lincoln.

A spokesperson from South Holland District Council, said decisions to implement a twin stream collection in South Holland would need to be made by full council.

“South Holland District Council have not yet had any formal discussions with Lincolnshire County Council about this implementation and we believe is not likely to be for a while yet, given that South Kesteven are not due to start until Feb 2024,” they said.

“The timescale for decision is very much based on the progression of the councils ahead of us, and a proposal would go to Full Council closer to the time of potential implementation.”

The City of Lincoln Council had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.