Blue bin or box? You decide on Sheffield recycling

Council Leader Paul Scriven with Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed.
Council Leader Paul Scriven with Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed.
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PLANS to allow householders to choose which recycling they put in their blue bins and boxes are set to be approved by Sheffield Council today.

The changes are due to be passed by the authority’s cabinet after almost a year of controversy since recycling collections were expanded.

Following the introduction of a fortnightly collection, many residents were unhappy with being asked to put heavy newspapers and cardboard in plastic boxes and use blue wheelie bins, formerly used for collecting paper, for cans, plastic bottles and glass.

Earlier this year the Lib Dems announced they would consider allowing people to use the boxes and bins in whatever way suited them.

Coun Andrew Sangar, the council’s cabinet member responsible for recycling, said: “We have listened to feedback from local people and want to give them the flexibility to decide how to use the blue containers based on the amount and types of recyclable waste they produce.

“Paper and card must still be kept separate from other recycled materials, but we hope this greater flexibility will make it easier for people to recycle even more in the future.”

The change will take effect in April and residents will receive a leaflet letting them know when it begins.

Beverley Rishworth, vice chair of Fraser Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, in Woodseats, welcomed the move.

She said: “The existing system is an absolute shambles. It should be up to everyone to choose which combination of bin and box works for them. In our area, people putting the paper in boxes rather than bins has caused a lot of problems, with items being blown around the estate in the wind.

“It was particularly bad when we had a backlog of collections due to bad weather.

“In my case, I can’t carry the box because I have a neck injury, so Veolia picks it up from my house instead of at the kerbside.

“Because I don’t have much tinned stuff, my blue bin is often empty apart from the odd bottle of wine, whereas the blue box ends up full because I take The Star every day and have two newspapers on a Saturday.”