Residents embrace South Lakeland 'recycling revolution'

Plastic and paper collections

29 July 2016

Half of residents in South Lakeland are now receiving kerbside recycling of plastic and cardboard – and the new service has helped to drive record tonnages of recycling being collected.

Our latest figures  show that in June more than 530 tonnes of ‘dry’ recyclables (plastic, paper, card, cans and glass) were collected from the kerbside.

That’s the largest amount collected since January, when there is traditionally a surge in the amount of kerbside recycling following the Christmas holidays.

In addition, the figure of 1441 tonnes of green recycling collected by our crews last month was the highest ever recorded.

Simon Rowley, South Lakeland District Council's Assistant Director of Neighbourhood Services, said all the evidence pointed to increasing enthusiasm for recycling, especially with the added convenience of an expanded kerbside service.

Mr Rowley continued: “We have seen the tonnages collected from the kerbside increasing, particularly in areas where we have introduced plastic and cardboard collections.

“In those areas we have also seen a big increase in the number of people requesting additional or replacement recycling bins and boxes, which suggests the introduction of the expanded service has led to a renewed interest in and enthusiasm for recycling.’’

The roll-out of the plastic and cardboard kerbside collections is continuing, with the second half of the district scheduled to move onto the service by the end of the financial year.

That means an average of 1,000 properties a week will be moved on to plastic and card collections between now and the end of March 2017.

So far areas including Kendal, Ulverston town and coastal villages, Kirkby Lonsdale, Milnthorpe, Burton-in-Kendal and Arnside have been moved on to plastic and cardboard kerbside recycling.

The next phase will see 700 homes in Backbarrow, Newby Bridge, Haverthwaite, Greenodd and Lowick getting blue recycling bags for plastic and cans delivered on Friday, August 5 and Monday, August 8, followed later the same month by a further 2,500 homes in Dent and Sedbergh.

An information leaflet about which container should be used for which material will be delivered at the same time as the blue bags and the blue bag will be picked up, along with the blue boxes and green waste, on the next recycling collection date on the calendar.

SLDC portfolio holder for the Environment, Councillor David Fletcher, said: “This is a huge project for the council and has required a great deal of hard work.

“Before we can start the plastic and card collections the teams have to deliver the new blue bags for storing plastic and cans, but we are managing to achieve this within existing resources, which means the crews are doing the bag deliveries in addition to their normal collection rounds.

“It is huge credit to them that we are currently on track to have everyone receiving plastic and card collections by our deadline.

“This has been achieved despite the fact we lost quite a bit of time on the plastic and card roll-out at the start of the year while we concentrated on the flooding clean-up, when our crews worked extremely hard to remove an additional 600 tonnes of general waste from flood damaged properties.’’

The expansion of the plastic and cardboard collections has been made possible by the introduction of changes to bin collection days for thousands of residents across the district.

The changes to collection days were made to make sure all the bin rounds are operating as efficiently as possible, with new rounds drawn up after studies examined every detail, from the types of wagons used to how narrow streets are in different areas, to make the very best use of resources and save money on fuel costs.

It means the more efficient rounds now also have the capacity to collect plastic and cardboard from the kerbside across the whole district within existing resources –  allowing us to deliver an improved service without extra cost to the taxpayer.

Councillor Fletcher added: “The changes to collection days mean we have been able to  collect more materials from the kerbside, which is something that residents have told us they really want and from the evidence so far it seems they are embracing with great enthusiasm.

“This is a key step in our Council Plan commitment to increase the amount of household waste sent for recycling from the current 43% to our target of 50%.’’

See our recycling pages for more information about plastic and cardboard collections.

Follow SLDC on Twitter  - @SouthLakelandDC – or ‘like’ the council’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/southlakelanddistrictcouncil, for the latest updates, information and reminders about the roll-out.