Highest ever quality paper and card collected in North Kesteven

Date Published: 04 October 2021

There’s an upsurge in the amount of fantastic quality paper and cardboard collected in the District thanks to residents’ efforts to ensure the right thing goes in the right bin.

The first week of District-wide purple-lidded bin collections (from Monday 27 September) joining households already with purple bins in North Kesteven have resulted in the most high quality, clean and dry paper and cardboard ever collected in our area.

Across the week 419 tonnes of great quality paper and cardboard were collected in the District – the weight of over 33 London buses – and has gone straight to the paper mill to be recycled. 98.5% of bins presented across the week were emptied because they contained the right things.

The purple and purple-lidded bins mean paper and cardboard can be kept clean, dry and in top condition to be recycled and used again, rather than absorbing residue from other mixed recycling in bins and becoming unusable.   

Council Leader Councillor Richard Wright said: “This is a fantastic result and testament to everyone who has not only adjusted to the new purple-lidded bin, or continued great use of their purple bin if they already had one in our trial, but is taking great care to ensure only clean and dry paper and cardboard goes in.

“Paper and cardboard can be recycled several times if kept in good condition, which means everyone’s efforts to keep separating it into their purple-lidded or purple bins will create a wave of positive impact that multiplies and grows as time goes on. I hope everyone in North Kesteven can feel proud of this and the action on climate change it represents.

“We can keep building on this success together, by ensuring any damp, dirty or shredded paper and cardboard goes in the black bin only, not purple or green-lidded. We need now to also tackle the problem of contamination in green-lidded recycling bins which has been increasing in Lincolnshire over recent years and will undermine all these efforts if left unchecked.

“We must all take responsibility for the waste we generate day to day and how we dispose of it. By focusing too on getting the right things in green-lidded bins we can ensure together that as many items as possible can go on to be recycled, as we know households want to see happen.”

The next collections, from Monday October 4, will be a black bin week.

Green-lidded bin collections will follow in the week commencing 11 October and should only contain items such as plastic tubs and bottles, glass, tins and cans – no paper or cardboard at all.

Teams will be out checking what’s in green-lidded bins. Where green-lidded bins contain wrong items and cannot be emptied as a result, a green tag will be left indicating which items caused this.

Items which must not go in green-lidded bins include:

  • Paper and cardboard (such as paper, magazines, newspapers, greetings cards, cereal packets, household packaging, etc. These should go in the purple-lidded bin only, or in the black bin if damp, soiled or shredded)
  • Any takeaway packaging (black bin only for this even if it look clean, unless it’s clear or light plastic which is rinsed and dry)
  • Tissues or kitchen roll (black bin only for these)
  • PPE such as masks (black bin only for these, bagged)
  • Batteries or electrical items (these should not go in any household bins at all as they cause a significant hazard, but taken to your local recycling centre instead).
  • Soft plastics such as plastic bags and bread bags (these can go instead to soft plastics collection points at various shops and supermarkets or put in the black bin if not possible)
  • Polystyrene (black bin only for this)
  • Clothes/textiles (these can go to your recycling centre or donation points, or if not possible can go in the black bin as a last option)
  • Food pouches and crisp packets (local Terracycle schemes may be able to help, or put in the black bin if not possible)
  • Black or brown plastic food trays (black bin only)
  • Hard plastics e.g. old toys, plant pots (these are best being donated if in good enough condition, taken to your local household recycling centre or if not possible then the black bin as a last option with all batteries removed)

If you’re unsure about whether something can go in your green-lidded bin, please check our Right Thing Right Bin leaflet on our Recycling page. There’s also an A-Z of recycling on the same page where you can look up individual items easily.

If you’ve paper or cardboard that can’t go in the purple because it’s not clean and dry, it shouldn’t go in the green-lidded bin either. It should only be destined for the black bin in this case.

Only dry and clean paper and cardboard – for example cardboard frozen food boxes, newspapers, envelopes, magazines, junk mail and cardboard parcel packaging, should all now go in the new purple-lidded bin.

Common items found in purple-lidded bins last week which required bins to be tagged were:

  • Shredded paper (as this damages the paper fibres and the pieces become difficult to recycle)
  • Takeaway pizza boxes or fast food containers (even if they look clean, as food residue will have been absorbed into the cardboard)
  • Tissues and kitchen roll (these will have been used and therefore cannot be recycled well, they also could pose a health hazard)

These should all go in the black bin only. PPE, both wrapping paper and greetings cards that are glittery or foiled, and cigarette packets should also go into the black bin only. This waste goes to the Energy from Waste plant at North Hykeham where it’s turned into clean electricity and fed back to the grid.

Bin lorry emptying paper and card at the depot