Recycling – Zero Tolerance on Certain Items

Over the last few weeks and months a number of people have voiced concerns about their recycling bins not being emptied. Villagers have gone to retrieve their wheelie bins on Wednesdays only to discover they are still full. The only change is a large red label attached to the bin explaining why it wasn’t emptied. These so called “red tagging” incidents appear to be on the rise. This seems a little odd – especially given that Titchmarsh is a very pro-active recycling community, with its own Environmental Group. Clearly either something has changed or something isn’t being understood.

ENC’s waste management team were approached for more information last week and what they said was quite revealing. During the Covid-19 outbreak they are enforcing a zero tolerance policy on certain items. In other words, if your recycling bin is found to contain just a single item on the list, your bin will not be emptied.

Currently there are 6 things that will trigger a red tag:

  • Any kind of paper tissue/kitchen roll/napkin
  • Plastic carrier bags
  • Food
  • Wipes
  • Discarded face masks
  • Crisp packets

Zero tolerance means just that. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a single piece of kitchen roll, the bin will be treated as if the entire contents are contaminated.

It’s worth remembering that everything we put in our green bin gets sorted manually, by hand. Someone has the job of sifting through the rubbish and pulling out all the items which cannot be recycled. That seems like an awful job at the best of times. During Covid-19, however, to protect their staff, waste management are taking no chances.

To demonstrate just how rigorously the policy is being enforced, take a look at the following photo.

This bin was red tagged. Can you see why?

The Waste management team are about to launch a new recycling strategy and info graphic. Instead of hi-lighting what you can’t put in your bin they are instead focussing on what you can. If it’s not on the graphic below it can’t go in the recycling bin. Hopefully this will help clear-up any lingering doubts or confusion about what goes in the green bin and what goes in the refuse bin. If in doubt, consult the graphic.

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