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Brown bins update

The new kerbside garden waste collection service launched by Boston Borough Council is exceeding all expectations, but its very success has brought with it its own teething problems.

More than 11,000 brown bins have now gone out to households across the borough which have signed up and paid up to receive the fortnightly collections and up to 52 tonnes of garden waste has been collected in a single day.

But overloading of bins has become a slight issue. The new brown bins are designed to cope with 80 kilogrammes of green waste and damage can occur to them if they are in excess of that weight when they are tipped by the collection lorry's hydraulic lift .

Green waste alone will not cause the bin's maximum weight to be exceeded, but the addition of soil may. Gardeners are asked not to include soil, knock it off the roots of weeds, plants and shrubs before they go in the brown bin and do not include lawn edgings. The same applies to hanging baskets, planters, tubs and window boxes - dispose of the dead plants, but don't tip the peat into your brown bin. It doesn't need composting and will do your own garden good if you just incorporate it into the soil.

Another issue has arisen because of necessary changes to refuse collection rounds and timings to accommodate the new collection service. Some residents have been reporting their bin as having not been emptied because the crew has not called at a time they have become used to. Staff at the council have been handling a high volume of time-consuming calls on this subject.

A plea has now been issued for householders to only assume their bin has been missed if it has not been emptied by 4.45pm on the day of their collection.  Residents also need to be aware that different lorries with different crews collect different materials at different times - landfill, recycling and garden waste have to be kept separate. So, if one of your bins has been emptied at one point in the day but another hasn't, it doesn't mean it has been missed. The      vehicle and crew for that bin will call at a different time.

Cllr Michael Brookes, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for waste services, said: "I am delighted with the way the new service has been received, and very grateful to residents for bearing with us during its introduction. It is important that the bins are not overloaded. Their maximum load is roughly equivalent to three sacks of potatoes."

Since the kerbside garden waste collection service started on July 2 waste going to landfill, which used to include garden waste, has reduced by an average 191 tonnes a fortnight.

Diverting the garden waste away from expensive and environmentally unsound landfill is producing an average saving of £11,944 per fortnight.