Around 5,000 bins went unemptied during the second round of a tough new recycling crackdown in Walsall. But the number of uncollected bins has fallen by more than half since the “zero tolerance” operation first came in.
The Express & Star revealed last week that 11,000 bins were not emptied in the first two weeks of the campaign, which has seen inspectors – branded “binspectors” – checking in green bins in case the wrong kind of material has been included for recycling.
Council chiefs said the drop in the number of bins going uncollected was “a major step in the right direction”.
But Councillor Peter Smith said the local authority had to be cautious of the possible repercussions of thousands of bins not being collected, such as flytipping.
“I do support the fact something is being done to get people to recycle more,” said the Democratic Labour Party member.
“People should be encouraged to recycle more. But when 5,000 bins are not being emptied, they need to be careful of things like flytipping.”
He said he had also been contacted by people who had items placed in their bins by passers-by and were left with a bin full of rubbish.
The crackdown began on November 19 after it emerged increasing amounts of “contaminated” waste was being sent to landfill. It was said to be costing taxpayers thousands of pounds a day.
But the controversial op-eration prompted a flurry of complaints from residents who had been left with full bins.
Walsall Council today said it would continue to target households which did not recycle correctly and would send out more leaflets.
Environment chief Councillor Tom Ansell said: “The recycling rate has really improved, which is fantastic news but there is still more we can do.
“Some residents still are not sure what can and cannot be recycled so we will be sending out further leaflets and putting clear information on our website and on the bins themselves.”