We’re near the end of week two of the new collection service and overall, it’s going well. However, I know from the questions we’re getting on social media and from the calls to our Customer Service Centre, that some people are not sure which containers to put out each week.
I realise it’s not always easy to keep track of what goes out and it will take a few weeks to get into the new Blue/Green Week pattern. We’ve all been there…bin day dawns and you take a sneaky glance down the street to see what everyone else is putting out this week and follow suit.
The best advice I can give you is to keep your Recycling Calendar handy – maybe use magnets to keep it on the front of your fridge like me, or inside a regularly used kitchen cupboard or on the wall by your recycling containers.
We know there has been some confusion over the recycling calendars. All residents had a temporary 3-month calendar in February with their Council Tax bill, which covered until the end of June and then we issued a new 10-month calendar which started from 20 June and some people’s Blue and Green Weeks had changed. We realise it‘s caused some residents to put the wrong containers out and we apologise for this. Please recycle your 3-month calendar and use your new Recycling Calendar from now on.
If you’re ever need to check which week you’re on and your calendar is not handy, you can use our quick and easy look-up online. Just go to www.colchester.gov.uk/recycling and click ‘Check’, use your postcode to see if you’re on a Blue or Green Week. It also reminds you what goes out on those weeks and your collection day.
Here’s a quick guide to what goes out on a Blue or Green Week and what containers to use:
The best way I’ve found to remember it is that all your clear bags go out on the same week, so that’s paper/cardboard, plastics and textiles (all in separate clear bags) alongside your garden waste – these go on a Green Week.
That leaves your black bags/bin and box or boxes that contain cans and glass – these go out on a Blue Week.
You can find a helpful list of what you can and can’t recycle on our website here.
This reminds me of a really interesting question from TJ last week, who asked if they could put all their recycling in one container and I thought the answer might help everyone understand why we collect our recycling in separate containers and bags.
The answer is about how the recycling processing plants grade the materials collected. By collecting our recycling in separate containers, it is classed as ‘clean recycling’. This means it’s a higher quality product than when recycling is mixed in one container or bin.
We sell our ‘clean’ recycling materials to a processing plant, which last year gave us an income of £260,000. Councils that collect mixed recycling in one wheelie bin have to pay a licensed waste management company an amount (£) per tonne to sort their recycling before it moves onto the recycling markets.
It’s no secret that central government funding is being cut for local councils, and the income we get by selling our recycling helps us to support and continue to delivery our core frontline services.
If you have any questions, you can find our Frequently Asked Questions or send a comment in and I’ll reply.