Shropshire councillors agreed on Thursday to spend nearly £3 million on new 240 litre wheelie bins to be distributed to households across Shropshire, beginning in South Shropshire in May. These need to be booked online or by ringing 0345 678 9007.
This is an overdue move. Myself and fellow councillors have been pressing for wheelie bins for recycling for years. We wanted to prevent the frequent wind blow of plastics from open tubs onto our streets. There are other benefits from having wheelie bins. They are easier to manoeuvre. The recycling operatives will no longer have to empty tubs into wheelie bins before loading the recycling into the crusher. And they will encourage greater recycling at a time when local recycling rates are falling.
If people can’t accommodate a wheelie bin or would prefer to keep the black tubs that’s fine. Shropshire Council also won’t be taking back the existing tubs, so you can use them for other storage or garden jobs. Or take them to a Household Recycling Centre.
There have been some problems ordering the new bins. The council website has been overwhelmed at times. More significantly, some addresses are not on Shropshire Council’s database for properties that use wheelie bins. (In the past, a few have not been in Shropshire Council’s database at all though I hope that latter problem is now solved). For example, the block of eight properties I live in can’t order recycling bins because they are flats. Yet we all have wheelie bins. We are just creative about where we store them.
Shropshire Council asks residents to rinse out plastic containers before putting them out for collection as it helps to reduce issues around pests and odour but you don’t have to scrub them. Veolia wouldn’t generally reject target materials (bottles, pots, tubs, and trays) if coated with gravy but if there is a lot of contamination there is a danger that the recyclables will not be collected.
Plastic film is not collected at the kerbside collections. At the Four Ashes Materials Recovery Facility it does cause problems by jamming up the machinery. Any film that does go through the process is not recycled at present. But most supermarkets have deposit bins for film including the Co-op. You might also want to look at the “Recycle and Fundraise for Pembridge CE Primary School, Herefordshire” Facebook page for options for recycling other materials which include collection in Ludlow.
Paper and cardboard cannot be put in the new bins. It is not possible to separate this from plastic, glass and metals at the Mechanical Recovery Facility. Paper and cardboard should continue to be put in the blue bags. If your blue bag is worn out or missing, you can order new bags online or by ringing 0345 678 9007.
Black recycling boxes are no longer replaced.
Recycling rates in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
In the first year of the pandemic, April 2020 to March 21, household waste in Shropshire rose by nearly ten per cent (9.6%), much higher than the rise for England (2.3%) or Telford & Wrekin (1.5%). The explanation for this is unclear and it can’t all be down to increased delivery of carboard boxes full of goodies. The population grew by a little more than 1%, so that is not a major factor either.
Recycling rates fell in Shropshire by 1.4% from 2019/20 to 2020/21, the lowest level for the unitary authority for four years. That’s around 6,500 tonnes of glass, metal, plastic, paper and garden waste not recycled. The reduction is in line with that experienced by many other local authorities and some of the reduction may be down to closure of Household Recycling Centres during lockdowns.