Over 500 homes targeted to raise recycling rates

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A door-to-door campaign is underway to improve the district’s record on recycling.

Officers for South Holland District Council have been visiting areas where there are high levels of “contamination” – where non-recycleable items are put out for collection in green bags.

Environmental wardens have already knocked on more than 500 doors across the district, explaining to residents why recycling collectors may have marked the green bags they have left beside the road with a yellow sticker.

It is part of a concentrated education programme by the council, which has been started following the award of £1.7million from the Government.

The “Pickles Pot” money – granted by Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles last November – will also be used to replace the council’s fleet of ageing recycling trucks.

A new education officer has also been employed, who has already started visiting schools to teach children about recycling.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for waste management, said: “As part of our bid for the Pickles money we said we wanted to raise recycling rates and to do that we need to reduce the contamination rate of recycling that is put out for collection, as well as encourage people to recycle more.

“The guys doing the collection are the ones that spot when a bag is contaminated and mark it with a yellow sticker – often people put out small electrical items such as toasters.

“Where we have ‘hotspots’ of this happening – often in areas where people come and go a lot, such as flats on short-term leases – we have been sending in people to knock on doors and educate people.

“The new officer is also going into schools, because we know from evidence at other councils that pester power from children is another effective way of getting the message across to their parents.”

Recycling is worth a lot of money to the council after it signed a three-year deal in 2012 to sell plastics, glass and paper it gathers for £500,000 a year.