Are we recycling properly? £100,000 earmarked for Herts County Council to analyse bins

PUBLISHED: 17:59 06 November 2019

Do you know how to sort your rubbish in your borough or district? Picture: Pixabay.

Do you know how to sort your rubbish in your borough or district? Picture: Pixabay.


Around £100,000 is to be spent by County Hall to investigate whether residents are recycling properly by checking the contents of their bins.

As part of a 'waste compositional analysis, teams will scrutinise bins from a number of residents across the different districts - including Hertsmere, North Herts, St Albans, Stevenage and Welwyn Hatfield.

On Monday, November 4, Hertfordshire Waste Partnership backed plans to look at residual waste bins - which is the non-recyclable waste that is typically destined for landfill or incineration.

This would also include 'dry recyclables' - such as cans, plastics and glass - where two or more are collected together.

The analysis will also look at the split between food and garden waste too in boroughs and districts that collect this type of waste.

And the results will give a breakdown of the contents of bins - identifying what residents are throwing away and whether items are being put in the right bins.

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The findings, according to the report to the partnership, will also provide the councils with information about the amount of packaging that's thrown away - and form part of the government's plans to introduce an 'extended producer responsibility regime'.

The project will go out to tender later this year, with the analysis expected to occur between February and April 2020.

A similar analysis of bins in Hertfordshire was conducted in 2015 that showed households were putting out an average of 6.1 kg of 'residual' household waste a week.

It found that, on average, 15.4 per cent of that (equivalent to 0.94 kg) could have been placed in the dry recycling bin - and 35.8 per cent (the equivalent of 3.12kg) could have been placed in organic recycling containers.

It also found that 78 per cent of residents put out 'dry recycling' containers for collection - with an average 3.65kg per household.

Eight per cent of that was classed as 'contamination', including items such as non-recyclable plastic, general residual waste and unacceptable paper and card.

During the last survey, 52 per cent of residents put out 'organic' bins for collection. Twenty per cent of the waste in these bins was classed as 'contamination' - largely due to the inclusion of soil and turf and scrap wood.

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