Council admits that sorted recyclables were processed as black bin waste

Archive image of a white-coloured refuse vehicle used to collect black bin waste.

Recyclable waste that had been carefully sorted by Bradley Stoke residents for South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) regular weekly kerbside recycling collection has ended up in the residual waste (black bin) processing chain, the Journal can reveal.

The news came to light after two readers contacted us to say they had seen their sorted recyclable waste all thrown into the back of a regular ‘black bin’ refuse vehicle during a Saturday morning ‘catch-up’ collection following a missed recycling collection the previous day.

One resident, in Juniper Way, told us:

“Yesterday our recycling was not collected as usual. This morning, however, I have just witnessed our recycling being taken away and I am shocked at what I saw. All the recycling was loaded into a white waste truck. Everything was put in together, nothing was separated. That will now end up at a landfill. All that sorting of recycling for nothing! The council should be ashamed of themselves.”

More generally, social media channels have also regularly been receiving complaints about missed recycling collections across the Bradley Stoke, Stoke Gifford and Filton areas.

In response to a request for a statement about recycling collections being missed on a frequent basis and the specific claims of sorted recyclables being mixed together on this one recent occasion (21st April), the following response was provided to the Journal, attributed to Cllr Heather Goddard, the South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet member responsible for communities:

“We are very sorry for any disruption and are working closely with our contractor, SUEZ to review the collection rounds to make sure that recycling is collected on the scheduled day.”

“Residents are advised to report any missed collections to the council via the website or contact centre. SUEZ will return to collect missed items within two working days.”

“We have taken the issue of collecting mixed recycling up with SUEZ and they have investigated the incident reported in Bradley Stoke. Following a missed collection on the Friday, SUEZ returned the next morning to ensure the missed collections were rectified. However the crew took it upon themselves to collect the materials in one vehicle. We are sorry that the material was not sorted at the kerbside as it should have been but SUEZ have assured us that this was an isolated incident.”

“SUEZ are carrying out extensive training with all staff to remind them of the value of the resources they collect and the importance of keeping the different waste items separate.”

When the Journal asked for clarification of the extent of the rogue collection, a council spokesperson said:

“This was an isolated incident limited to two roads in Bradley Stoke. The material that was collected was included in the residual waste stream and therefore went to the mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility. We have taken this incident very seriously and addressed the issue with our contractor, SUEZ.”

Photo: Archive image of a white-coloured refuse vehicle used to collect black bin waste.

More info: Recycling and waste (SGC)

This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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