Simplified kerbside recycling collections for residents confirmed

15 September 2017

Councillors have backed plans to simplify the kerbside collection of recycling materials for residents across South Cambridgeshire.

The plans were supported at a meeting of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet last night (Thursday 14 September) which will see residents place paper directly into their blue wheelie bins, eliminating the need for paper caddies.

Councillors said at the meeting that officers have been tasked with putting together an implementation and communication plan that makes the change as “easy as possible for residents”.

They also reiterated that local people must have good warning of the change – including for people who do not have internet access.

It is expected the date of the change will be announced by the end of September.

The Council is currently deciding which recycling collection trucks will be needed for the next seven years and the decision now means the right vehicles can be purchased.

Recycling paper in the main part of the blue bin rather than a paper caddy means that fewer replacement vehicles are now needed than if the paper caddies had continued to be used.

Trucks which collect dry recycling that is mixed together, rather than separated, do not need to have split bodies, and so can carry more materials. This means collection rounds will be completed without the need for vehicles to return to base and be emptied as often.

The change will also mean vehicles will cover around 26,000 fewer miles per year on South Cambridgeshire’s roads than using a separate caddy. This will lower fuel costs and reduced CO2 emissions.

At the Cabinet meeting, councillors heard that the change is expected to maintain South Cambridgeshire’s record of over half of materials being recycled, and computer modelling suggests it may even improve slightly.

A reduction in collection trucks means that around £670,000 of savings can be achieved during the next seven years, compared with the existing system. This will help the Council meet some of the savings needed due to reductions in Government grant funding it receives to deliver services to residents.

This altered approach to dry recycling collection will also mean fewer refuse staff are needed; however, given current vacancies, it is anticipated that no redundancies would be necessary.

Removing paper caddies will also reduce heavy lifting being carried out by refuse workers.

Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “This change will make recycling more straightforward for residents and save money at the same time. It is win, win. Our teams will now be working on a plan for a smooth transition to the new way of collecting paper. Making sure local people know what is happening is vital, but I hope we can implement the change before Christmas as it will make life more a little easier for everyone at a time of year when we always see the amount of recycling rise.

“Please continue to use the paper caddy at the moment as we will be collecting paper in this way for the time being. We have a brilliant recycling track record in the district and it is excellent news that the modelling we have done suggests this may even improve under the new simplified system. Paper mixed in with other recyclables in the blue bin will still sent on for re-processing by paper manufacturers.”

More information about the changes can be found by visiting and clicking on the bins icon.