Blue bin – your questions answered

  • What is my new blue bin for?

    Your new blue bin is to help make recycling easier.

    You should use it for clean cardboard and paper.

    You can find a quick guide to what you can use it for here.

  • Will my bin collections change?

    We will still empty your burgundy bins, for all general waste, in exactly the same way.

    We’ll then alternate your recycling bin every fortnight.

    Your new collection calendar pack will include everything you need to know.

    Make sure to pop it on your fridge.

    You should have plenty of space in your grey and blue bins for monthly collections, but be sure to squash and flatten everything down to make it easier.

  • This must be costing the council a lot of money, is it worth it?

    Most councils already collect paper and card separately.

    Unless we start do the same, we will find it very hard to find a recycler who will take our paper and we will pay a lot more to get it recycled.

    The council is investing £1.5m into the new blue bin roll out – that money will be repaid within less than 2 years.

    In fact, it will save approximately £800,000 of Council Tax money each year which can be better spent on providing important services.

    We also need to consider the cost to the environment.

    Currently, only around 30% of our waste in Blackburn with Darwen is recycled – one of the lowest rates in the country.

    We really want to do better!

  • Why are you changing the recycling collection?

    Splitting the recycling into two different bins makes sure that the different materials can be recycled more easily.

    Storing the clean cardboard and paper separately avoids it getting wet, dirty or damaged – what we refer to as ‘contaminated’ by fluid from other recyclables that we put in the grey bin – cans and bottles etc.

    To recycle as much paper and cardboard as we can, it also needs to be kept separate from glass, cans and plastic for the recycling mills.

    This change to bin collections protects our environment while helping us save money that can be better spent on valuable services for our residents.

    It also fits in with Government plans for waste in the future which includes keeping paper and card separate from other recyclables.

  • What happens if we make a mistake and put cardboard/paper in our grey bin or put glass, plastic or cans in our blue bin?

    We know it’ll take some getting used to, but we’re doing everything we can to make it easy to use the new way of recycling.

    We will write out to every house at least twice with new guides, have invested in this new website and will be sharing updates across our social media channels.

    We’ll also be making it clear on the top of the new blue bin that it is only for clean cardboard and paper.

    It’s really important that we get it right.

    If the wrong recyclables are in the wrong bin, we won’t be able to empty it.

    It will have a sticker on saying ‘contaminated.’

    Currently, if we collect recycling that is mixed with general waste, including nappies and pizza boxes full of food, the whole bin wagon load can be sent to landfill despite everyone’s best efforts – this is because the recycling mills will not accept contaminated recycling.

    With the changes to collections, it could also be another 4 weeks before our bin crews will be able to return to empty it again.

  • With corona virus still a threat, why didn't you cancel introducing the new blue bin? Isn't the money better spent on other services?

    The council will continue to abide by full Government guidance with regard to corona virus and is doing everything it can to support our vulnerable residents and businesses right across the borough through these challenging times.

    Our crews will be delivering the new bins wearing appropriate PPE and we ask that you still clean all wheelie bin handles when you take your bins out to be emptied and bring them back in.

    These plans were in place before the corona virus pandemic took hold.

    Importantly, the cleaner recycling we will produce will also help us improve the environment.

    As a council, we have also faced significant budgets cuts, the sooner we can roll out the new collection service, the sooner the council can start making savings on your Council Tax.

    These savings can be better spent on services our residents need and value.

  • I want two blue bins, how can I get another?

    Firstly, thank-you for recycling!

    Secondly, did you know you can double the size of your bin by squashing items like boxes?

    Initially, we’ll be delivering just one bin/bag to our residents – that’s more than 60,000!

    We need to make sure we have provided every property with at least one bin to start with.

    If after a few weeks you find that you need a second blue bin you can order one online for free.

  • I’m on your assistance scheme for the grey bin, will I automatically receive help with my blue bin?

    If you are elderly or disabled you can arrange for the crew to collect your bins if you cannot put them out on the pavement.

    You can place a request for help online here.

    If you are already on our assistance scheme, you will automatically receive help.