A trial bin collection scheme to help boost the recycling of paper and card is to get underway in South Tyneside next month (February).
Over the coming weeks, South Tyneside Council will be delivering an additional standard size bin to more than 1,000 homes across the Whitburn and Marsden area to take part in the new pilot scheme.
The new bin - a blue bin with red lid - will be collected every four weeks and will be specifically used for the recycling of paper and card.
It comes following the need to increase the quality and amount of paper recycled, with a separate container not only aiding the sorting process but making the material more saleable.
Councillor Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: "The Council is working hard to increase recycling rates across the Borough and is always looking at way to improve the waste collection service for residents.
"Unfortunately, the amount of cardboard used in the home continues to increase alongside a decline in the amount of paper recycled. In addition to this, more of the paper placed in blue bin is being contaminated by other materials, due to the inner caddy not always being used.
"We need to look at other ways to recycle more, and the more we recycle, the more we can reduce the amount of waste that is sent for disposal.
"This scheme gives us the opportunity to do something differently and will not only help us to support the environment, but allow us to be in greater control of our costs which can be used to help fund other vital services. Similar schemes have operated successfully in other parts of the country, so we hope to see the benefits of introducing a paper and card only collection in South Tyneside."
The new bin (with red lid) will be used for items including brochures, cardboard (no polystyrene or bubble wrap), newspapers and magazines, junk mail and envelopes, telephone directories and catalogues, Yellow Pages, and paper included loose shredded paper.
Residents' existing blue mixed recycling bins (with blue lid) will continue to be used for plastics, glass, aerosols and rinsed food and drinks cartons and cans. However, as part of the trial, paper and card will no longer be accepted in the blue bin.
Though the fortnightly recycling collection days will remain the same, a new calendar of dates will inform residents which blue bin to put out for collection.
Grey household waste collections bins will not be affected by the scheme and will continue to be collected every fortnight.
Letters advising of the changes to the recycling service have been delivered to the selected residents across the Whitburn and Marsden area, which has been chosen due to its mix of property types and demographics. They have been sent information, advice and support about how the scheme will work, as well as details of associated drop in sessions.
Councillor Maxwell added: "We appreciate that the trial scheme will require some changes to recycling habits for residents in the Whitburn and Marsden areas.
"While this scheme will mean more containers for the households affected, we believe that the system of separated recyclable waste will be a better solution for the environment.
"Residents will have the same, if not more, capacity than they do with the current blue recycling bin and paper caddy on a fortnightly collection. It will also enable the Council to provide a high quality marketable product for paper and card."
The trial will be at no additional cost to the Council as it is funded by a national recycling contractor. It is expected to run for at least six months and will be monitored throughout.
Once ended, the Council will assess the findings of the trial, as well as residents' feedback, to determine whether the scheme will be rolled out to other parts of the Borough.
For further information about waste and recycling in South Tyneside, or more details about the trial scheme, call the South Tyneside Council's Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000or visit the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/recycling