BIN men have been caught on camera throwing white sacks full of waste paper into the same lorry as blue bins full of cardboard making a mockery of people’s efforts to separate the two for recycling, a furious Cudworth resident says.
Linda Hutton first spotted the white sacks for waste paper collection being lumped in with waste cardboard months ago, but this week has captured photographic evidence for the first time.
She doesn’t blame the bin men themselves as they are ‘just doing the job’ they’ve been sent to do, but questions why if paper and cardboard are mixed together anyway, what is the point of the white sack?
In a Tweet accompanied by four photographs which she sent to the @Barnsley—Help Twitter account, managed by Barnsley Council, she said: “Proof that the bin men are putting our paper in the same wagon as our cardboard. *
“So my question to you again, please can I just put it all in the blue bin?”
The council did respond to the Tweet saying ‘due to the previous conversation we’ve had with yourself paper must be separated from the cardboard when presented’.
Linda was dissatisfied with the response and has now written to all three of her local councillors.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Linda, 56, of Barnsley Road, said: “What I’ve tried to make very clear is I have no objection to recycling. We’re saving the planet, I think it’s fantastic and I’m all for it.
“It’s just that we go to all these lengths to separate it in the right bin, or into the white sack, but when I look outside I see it all being thrown in the same wagon together.”
Linda said she had contacted the council about it before but had been told the wagons have separated compartments inside, so paper goes in one side and cardboard in the other.
However she has since learned that on narrower streets like Bloemfontein Street in Cudworth, where the wagon in the photographs was, ‘single body’ wagons are used which have no separation, and she took a photograph of the wagon lifting two blue bins on the back into the same space she had seen white sacks emptied seconds earlier.
“It’s proof that it ends up mixed together,” she said.
The white sacks proved controversial when they were introduced back in 2014. Prior to that, paper had gone in the blue bin, but then the council decided cardboard only would be collected in the blue bin. For paper, 106,000 of the white sacks were instead distributed to homes across the borough at a cost of £112,000.
This was said to be a much cheaper option than providing yet another bin for paper, which would have cost £2m.
People complained they were too heavy when full, would easily be lost or blown away once emptied, and would be unpleasant to keep in the house once they had become soggy from being left out in wet conditions.
“We’ve had three or four of these things, maybe more,” said Linda. “They get blown away or stolen, or thrown about by yobbos.
“Worse than that for me, when it’s full, there’s no way I can carry it outside, it’s far too heavy. If it was in the bin, because it’s on wheels, I’d at least have half a chance.”
Coun Roy Miller, a spokesman for the council’s ruling cabinet, said: “We want to thank the residents of Barnsley for their ongoing commitment to recycling.
“Together with Doncaster and Rotherham we are diverting over 95 per cent of our waste from going to landfill.
“We use both single and split trucks to collect recycling throughout the borough, depending upon the particular recycling round we are working on.
“Vehicle decisions are made each morning to ensure we complete collections for all residents. For this particular route we have had an intermittent issue with one of the vehicles, which we are working to resolve.
“Recycling is already making a big difference in Barnsley thanks to the dedication of our residents, and we encourage people to continue to separate their recycling as this helps us to maximise our resources.”
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