Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Council Admit Bins Ban Was a Mistake

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Council Admit Bins Ban Was a Mistake

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Blackburn Senior Reporter

MIDDLESBROUGH Council has apologised to residents after the authority refused to collect more than 2,300 recycling bins last week.

The authority said "a number of factors" were behind the failure to empty the blue-lidded bins across the town.

Instead, residents' bins were left with a sticker stating why they had not been removed.

The council said it was as a result of "contamination" - with dirty pizza boxes found to be the main problem.

Such pizza boxes should have always gone into general waste bins - but would not previously have been refused in recycling.

But the authority has also now apologised for not making residents aware of the issues before refusing to collect waste.

Councillor Tracy Harvey, Middlesbrough Council's executive member for environment, said: "We would like to take the opportunity to apologise to all residents, but especially those who have had their recycling left uncollected despite not doing anything different to what they have been doing since this current bin system was introduced in 2013.

"In those two years public participation in recycling has increased from around 35% to an average of 80%, and the last thing anyone wants is for that number to reverse due to understandable confusion and disappointment in the service on behalf of residents."

In the coming weeks the council and its contractor will be placing stickers on all blue-lidded bins "to give a clear and constant reminder of what is and isn't acceptable for recycling" and is hoping this gives reassurance and confidence to residents that they are doing the right thing.

Cllr Harvey added: "We absolutely regret the inconvenience caused to our residents. We apologise profusely for that. We will do everything in our power to put it right. …

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