Daventry residents have been left baffled after seeing their sorted waste being mixed into single bins.
Jim Davis from Daventry described, in a letter sent to this newspaper, watching a refuse collector empty the contents of all three of his bins into a single grey one, and we received a similar complaint from Susan Jeanes a week later.
Residents say it defeats the point of them separating recyclable items, though the waste collection company did confirm that a triage happens when the materials eventually arrive at their facility.
After seeing it for herself last week Odette Pettit, of Ashby Fields, said: “It really upset me because not a lot of people do recycle and when you do, to see that happening, I think it’s disgusting and we really need to do something about it.
“We spend loads of time sorting our rubbish, and some people take pride in that. But when you see this happening it makes you wonder why you’ve gone out of your way to separate your waste only for that to happen. It feels like a waste of time but also what does that teach people?”
After confronting the bin man, Mrs Pettit was told that Amey/Enterprise were mixing all the rubbish together because their lorry had broken down.
A spokesperson for Amey said: “We normally collect all recyclable material in Daventry in a vehicle that has separate compartments. There are occasions, however, due to a vehicle breakdown for example, when we have to collect the recyclable material in a standard refuse collection vehicle. The material is then separated at an Amey materials recovery facility.
“Local residents can be assured that all their recyclable material, including food waste, is separated and recycled by us.”
Councillor Jo Gilford, environment portfolio holder on Daventry District Council, said: “Recycling is generally collected in a vehicle that allows different materials to be kept separate. Unfortunately, due to a number of breakdowns across their fleet in recent months, our contractor has modified its method of collection on some rounds, mixing recyclable material together to speed up the collection process and ensure households receive the service in a timely manner.
“When this happens, all of the recyclable material collected is taken to a specialist facility for separation – nothing is wasted. Known as co-mingling, this method of collection is similar to the system which will be introduced when we move to the new 1-2-3 service from June 2018, something we hope will further improve recycling rates.
“In the meantime I would like to thank residents for supporting our efforts to improve the environment by continuing to sort their recycling for collection.”