Tag Archives: Plastic Waste

Lewes District Recycles More! Recycling up from 22% to 38%!

The new recycling scheme in Lewes District is having a real effect! At the recent Plastic Free Lewes event ‘The Truth About Plastic’ (Lewes Town Hall, 24th October), Scot Reid (Head of Customer and Neighbourhood Services at Lewes District Council) announced that the new recycling scheme, introduced in the past year, has significantly improved recycling rates in Lewes District, they are now up from 22% to 38%.

The new scheme was introduced following a long campaign by Lib Dem District Councillor, Vic Ient. Cllr Ient said “It’s great that we have been able to respond to public calls for better recycling and I will continue to push the District Council to be more ambitious”.

Cllr Vic Ient with Oli Henman at recycling site

Environmental campaigner Oli Henman said “The improved recycling rates provide very welcome news given the challenges of plastic pollution in our countryside and our seas; we hope to see this level grow further. Now, we are calling on the District council to get on with rolling out the on-street recycling bin pilot which was put forward by Lib Dem Council Group Leader, Cllr Sarah Osborne.”

Cllr Sarah Osborne with a new on-street recycle bin in Seaford

Local campaigner Kevin West said, “Lewes residents are very active on the issue of recycling and have responded in a really positive way to the new scheme. According to Viridor, the contractor who sorts the recycling, we have very low rates of ‘contamination’ – only 2% of the recycling is rejected,making the quality 98%. This shows that small changes can have major effects,we should all be proud of this achievement.”

Lib Dem Campaigner Kevin West with on of the new garden waste bins

Plastic Free Lewes is a campaign group in Lewes that raises awareness of the impact of plastic pollution and helps people to take real action to resolve the issue. It is supported by multiple political parties as well as the Town Council. Lewes Lib Dem campaigners Kevin West and Oli Henman have been key members of Plastic Free Lewes since its inception

Residential waste and recycling collection in Lewes District

Cllr Vic Ient with one of the new 240 L recycling bins

New Recycling Scheme Update

The roll-out of the new recycling scheme is well underway. The coastal towns of Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven etc have all received a new recycling bin and are benefiting from the much-expanded recycling service. For more details of the service CLICK HERE 

The Lewes District Council scheme is separate to the East Sussex County Council recycling centres where you take your recycling and rubbish including such things as electrical goods, old fridges and bikes as well as garden waste. For more information on the county services and their proposed changes click here

Current status of the programme for roll-out of the full co-mingling service:

  • the new service is currently being rolled out in my council ward – Kingston Ward (Piddinghoe up to Kingston). See my recent post: click here
  • The next area will be Lewes which should roll-out in April.
  • All other areas will follow and be completed by July.

Some people have commented they don’t like the blue lids. I agree but I am pleased the new service is coming into operation. It has taken me over two years of badgering to get the Conservatives to implement a recycling scheme which will help us reduce the amount of plastic waste sent to the incinerator and help lift us off the bottom of the council league tables for recycling. When I joined the council we were down at 24% whereas other councils around the country were achieving around 50%. We are now steadily climbing the league tables and I’m sure we will well exceed the 30% which is where we are at the moment within the next few months!

What can you recycle?

Here is a summary from the LDC leaflet:

If you can’t take the 240 L bin you can ask the council to give you a smaller bin – 140 L.  If you have any queries or need assistance telephone 01273471 600 and press option 4 and then option 1.

Residents who can’t manage a wheelie bin can continue to use their existing containers (a combination of black boxes and bags) for recycling. If residents are using their existing recycling boxes and bags the advantages are that they can mix up what they’re putting in those containers after the roll-out has been carried out in their area.

So, what about the rest of the rubbish? In summary, there are two scenarios:

Those residents who can’t take a wheelie bin:

  • Recycling – residents can continue to use their existing recycling bags and boxes for the full ‘co-mingling’ recycling service.
  • Residents can use any receptacle for their ordinary waste but there may be an opportunity for the whole street to get a free bag (green) for their ordinary waste. This would only be issued where households cannot take any type of bin and where there is high gull/vermin activity. This has the advantage that it will be very difficult for vermin and gulls to break open the bag. This should keep the streets a lot cleaner in places where there are terraced houses and flats.
  • Food waste – residents can continue to use their existing food waste bins. This service does not change.

Those residents who can take a wheelie bin:

  • Recycling – residents can get a free 240 or 140 L wheelie bin (blue lidded).
  • Ordinary waste – residents can continue to use their existing receptacle or buy a 140 or 240 L ordinary waste bin for £20 or £30 (see below).
  • Food waste – residents can continue to use their existing food waste bins. This service does not change.

Ordinary refuse bins

  • Smaller 140 litre bins are suitable for households with 1-4 people. They cost £20 including VAT and delivery.
  • Larger 240 litre bins are suitable for households with 5 or more people. They cost £30 including VAT and delivery.

‘Bring sites’

  • In coordination with the roll-out of the full co-mingling service ‘bring’ sites are being upgraded. This has already happened in some of the coastal towns.
  • ‘Bring’ sites are also being upgraded with a large bin to take tetra packs and coffee cups – see the example picture below.
  • The number of ‘bring’ sites will be reviewed as part of the current review and roll-out programme.

Councillor Vic Ient and LibDem campaigner and environmental spokesperson for the Lewes Town Liberals, Oli Henman, visiting one of ‘bring’ sites which has been equipped with one of the new recycling bins which will take ‘tetra packs’ at the car park near the precinct in Lewes