Green-minded residents in Derbyshire are helping to more than double recycling rates following the roll-out of a new and improved kerb side recycling scheme.
Neighbouring local authorities Bolsover District Council and North East Derbyshire District Council teamed up to launch the new service in May 2011 to improve the service for residents and save both authorities money.
Under the new-look system, the old blue box and bag – which held material including paper, glass and tins – has been replaced by a single ‘burgundy bin’ which allows residents to put all their recyclable material in one place including plastic bottles for the first time.
The new bins are now in use by nearly 79,000 households across the two council areas and the authorities have seen an increase in the amount of material being presented for recycling.
Cllr Nick Foster, North East Derbyshire District Council’s Member for the Environment, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the early success of the scheme, which underlines that our residents really are committed to recycling.
“Early results show a staggering increase in both areas and we will be working hard to keep up this fantastic momentum.”
By joining forces to procure a joint contact from service provider, HW Martin, the two authorities are set to save a combined £400,000 a year.
Cllr Foster added: “Both authorities are committed to saving money while protecting frontline services and by working together to deliver joint services we’re able to do just that.”
Switching to the new system means the councils are one of the first in Derbyshire to include plastic bottles in their kerbside recycling service – and also puts them ahead of new European rules which will require all councils to collect plastic bottles by 2015.
Cllr Dennis Kelly, Bolsover District Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “A large percentage of household waste is made up of plastic bottles and our residents have been asking for a facility to recycle them at home.
“We are extremely pleased with how the bin has been received by residents and the first few months’ figures show how popular the bin is. The new bin is a great improvement. It allows residents to recycle more, help keep all their recycling in one place, keeps the recycling materials dry and above all, is helping us to drastically reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill.”
Joint publicity for the new service started in January 2011, thanks to funding and support from WRAP.
Both authorities worked closely with WRAP to develop a comprehensive ‘Kerb it! Recycle it!’ campaign to engage residents with the new and improved service well ahead of the planned roll-out.
Cllr Foster explained that feedback from residents has been overwhelmingly positive. He said: “As we’ve seen in other parts of the country, the introduction of a third bin has the potential to be quite controversial.
“But by engaging the community every step of the way, residents have been prepared for the switch and appreciate the clear benefits that the new service offers them.
“We’ve had very few complaints and a lot of compliments in the first few weeks!”