Overflowing bins forcing Falkirk residents to make their own runs to refuse tip

Six months after the majority of Falkirk Council residents received their new burgundy bins for paper and cardboard and many householders are struggling to cope.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 17th January 2020, 10:24 am

The Falkirk Herald has received a number of complaints from residents who claim their blue bins – for plastics – and their green bins – for general household waste – are full to overflowing well before the once-per-month pick up is scheduled to take place.

This has been forcing some people to make several trips per month to take their excess recycling materials and refuse to local recycling centres at Roughmute and Kinneil Kerse.

One family-of-three from Grangemouth stated: “Our green bin and blue bin are full up to capacity two weeks before they are due to be emptied by the council, so we have to pile up the plastic bottles and bag up the refuse to take it to the tip.

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“We are one of the lucky ones because at least we have transport that allows us to take the items to the tip – some people don’t have access to cars.”

There have been reports on social media of opportunistic firms springing up and offering to transport people’s excess recycling materials and refuse to the recycling centres for them – for a significant fee, which many people might not be able to afford.

The latest addition to the Falkirk Council bin system – the burgundy bin – started to roll out to homes last summer.

Paid for by Zero Waste Scotland, the burgundy bin allowed paper and cardboard to be removed from the blue bins and collected separately from plastics.

It was hoped separating the waste would dramatically improve recycling rates.

At the time the council’s waste strategy manager Lesley Scott said: “Currently, if a bin full of recycling has any liquid spilled in it, the whole load is contaminated and will end up in landfill.

“Not only is that a waste of residents’ time and efforts, it also costs the council cash. Separating these items before they are collected for recycling means the paper and cardboard will not get contaminated by any liquids from almost empty bottles.

“If it’s collected purely as paper and cardboard, it’s more attractive to the paper industry, and it makes our product more accessible to high quality paper mills.”

However, the four weeks between bin uplifts is proving to be problematic for many residents, who wonder if Falkirk Council could offer a more regular collection period – perhaps every fortnight.