Anger over Sheffield blue bins left half full after collection

Sheffield residents are calling for changes to the city's recycling service '“ after blue bins were reportedly left half-full following scheduled collections.

Friday, 4th January 2019, 3:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 1:43 pm
Sheffield blue bins. Picture by Mark Fear

People have complained the bins are too small, are not emptied correctly and have called for new, bigger containers.

Readers took to The Star's Facebook page to share their comments about the bins, which were introduced for paper and cardboard use last year.

Lesley Dalby said: 'The blue bin isn't big enough. Mine is completely full after five days. I tried leaving a neat small parcel at the side tied with string as advised but after it wasn't taken away four times, I thought why bother.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

'Now, any cardboard after the bin is full goes in the black bin which totally defeats the object of recycling.'

The blue bin is used to recycle paper and card '“ with collections taking place once monthly on alternative fortnights between black bin collections.

Many people have concerns that the bins are not big enough, and would prefer to use their brown bin for paper and cardboard.

Residents got a new brown bin last year, which replaced the blue box, and is used for glass, cans and plastic bottles and collected monthly.

They were phased in two stages between August and October, costing the authority around £2 million, which they say will be recouped over the next two years by making savings in collection costs. They are the same size as the black bin.

Gareth Johnstone said: 'The blue bins are far too narrow and don't hold enough. The council say they want people to recycle more and then they make it difficult.'

Others suggested having an optional recycling service. 

Grayson Freddie Chris said: 'We should have a choice as before, either use the brown bins for paper or bottles/cans and vice versa.

'Simple, but the council wont allow it.'

Sue Hudson said: 'I have always ripped my cardboard boxes into to bin sized pieces and everything was fine until they changed to monthly collection.

'Now the blue bin is too small for purpose, I think like most people we should have a large blue bin and a small brown bin, or give us a choice of size.' 

Neil Townrow, waste management officer at Sheffield Council, said: 'Following the introduction of our new recycling service last year, people now have more collection capacity for their paper and card than with the previous blue box service. The blue bins meet the needs of the vast majority of households in the city.

 'Extra paper and card can be placed next to the blue bin for collection but it should be neatly bundled together, ideally tied to prevent it from blowing away, no bigger than the blue bin and not placed inside a plastic bag.

 'Our refuse collection vehicles are designed to dislodge materials within the bin wherever possible, although some items may remain stuck. Health and safety reasons prevent staff from manually removing stuck materials.

'In the next few months large households will be able to request additional recycling capacity for both paper and card (blue bin) and glass, cans and plastic bottles (brown bin) and we will provide more information on this when the service is available.'

Alternatively, additional paper and card can be taken to a local recycling site or Household Waste Recycling Centre. Visit for details.