Blue bins could lift Liverpool’s league position

Fed up with coming bottom of waste leagues, council leaders in Liverpool are introducing a raft of measures to make recycling easier for residents.

Central to the plans is an initiative to roll out a third wheelie bin to thousands of terraced homes in the city, to improve recycling capacity for households that have space to store the waste.

Most houses in Liverpool already have two wheelie bins – one for garden waste and a second for non-recyclable waste.

Since last autumn the city council has been phasing in a third blue bin for those who want them for a wide range of recyclable materials.

While these bins were initially issued to properties with plenty of storage space – such as those with gardens – the council has now offered them to those living in terraces.

“We’re now introducing the blue bins to terraced properties, there’s an issue with space because three bins take up quite a bit, but we’ve had people telling us they know it’ll be a tight squeeze but they want them anyway,” a council spokesperson told edie.

Residents with tighter space constraints are also being offered a smaller wheelie bin, half the size, of the standard bin.

Before the introduction of the blue bins, doorstep collections were dealt with using a box-and-bag system where paper waste could be put in refuse sacks while glass and cans had to be put in a recycling box.

Feedback from the public suggested people would prefer not having to separate their recycling in this way, said the spokesperson.

“They wanted it all to be dealt with by one system,” she said.

The introduction of much larger recycling bins might lead waste-watchers to suspect an imminent switch to Alternate Weekly Collection (AWC) but the council spokesperson told edie that this was just not on the cards.

“It’s not on our agenda at all to do fortnightly collections,” she said.

“We’ve always had quite a low recycling rate and [this is] an attempt to increase our recycling rate because we’re coming bottom of leagues.”

While the impact of the shift to bigger bins is yet to be seen in official statistics, Liverpool is confident that when figures are released for the 2007/08 recycling rates, there will be a marked improvement.

David Gibbs

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