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Get Ready to start Pre-Sorting your waste

July 29, 2021 10:51 AM
By Stuart Smith

East Lothian Council is introducing some changes to your recycling collection later this year.

The first big change is a move to weekly collections. It is intended that from 20th September 2021 recyclable material will be collected from households on a weekly basis with all materials collected on the same day. This refreshed recycling service is designed to help us all recycle more than ever before. The more frequent collections mean that you might not need to use as many boxes (unlikely).

The second, bigger change is how you go about sorting your recyclables. You will need to do more pre-sorting before putting it out.

Materials collected will fall into 5 different categories:

Plastics, cans and cartons - the Council will be providing a new container to collect this material which will be a sealable, weighted, reusable bag. The bag capacity is larger than the existing green boxes, can be self-sealed - so no need to attach a cover and the bags are weighted to help prevent lighter materials blowing away (mainly happens when you don't use a cover for the box and/or overfill it). They will allow the collection team to check the contents are correct before they are emptied into the vehicle and improve the quality of the material being collected. (If you haven't sorted correctly the bag won't be emptied).

Glass bottles and jars - in the existing green boxes.

Paper and card (grey thin card used in food packaging i.e. cereal boxes) - in the existing blue boxes.

Cardboard (brown corrugated packaging i.e. the boxes parcels are received in from online deliveries) - can go in another blue box, or as present, flattened and presented beside the boxes or in another cardboard box.

The new collection vehicles have a compartment specially designed to hold up to 1 tonne of flattened cardboard so more recycling can be picked up before they have to return to the Transfer Station to tip. This reduces the distance each vehicle has to travel and means they can collect from more households each day.

Food waste - no change. Continue to use the existing caddies.

These changes will mean that some residents will have an extra container with the bag, but as a lot of residents already use more than one set of boxes the more frequent weekly collections should mean that many residents will store and present fewer containers than they currently need to do with the fortnightly service. (That's Council speak, in reality as I currently only put out two crates, this change will require me to put out 3 crates/containers).

The recycling will be collected in all new, state of the art recycling vehicles which have been designed to make it easier for you to separate your materials at home and for us to be able to maximise recycling. (Again Council speak, it means you as a resident have to do more work to make their investment in these new vehicles viable).

We all need to learn how to Pre-Sort.