Wrexham to roll out Wheelie Boxes

Wrexham to roll out Wheelie Boxes
Wrexham County Borough Council is to begin rolling out a new recycling system featuring stackable ‘Wheelie Boxes’ next week in an effort to simplify the recycling scheme, increase recycling rates and improve efficiency.

The scheme, which is being implemented in partnership with bin manufacturer CK Services, will involve 13,000 wheelie boxes being sent out to properties across Wrexham over the next three weeks from 16 May.

The Wheelie Boxes consist of three stacked recycling boxes that are fixed to a trolley and will be used by residents to separate their recyclables. The top box is for paper and card, the middle for plastic bottles and mixed cans and the bottom box for glass bottles, jars and corrugated cardboard. The bottom two boxes are fitted with a flap to allow material to be inserted without having to unstack the boxes.

The new system will replace the council’s weekly two-stream co-mingled system, which sees plastic bottles, cans and mixed glass put in a small box and paper and cardboard placed in a blue bag.

The council will also be using new recycling collection vehicles funded by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Cymru, which allow the collection of a wider range of materials. The council believes the new vehicles will allow ‘future enhancement of the recycling scheme’.

The implementation of the system is in keeping with the Welsh Government’s Collections Blueprint and follows on from several different local authorities, which have already implemented a system using stackable boxes.

The blueprint, which was reviewed earlier this year by Eunomia Research & Consulting, states that kerbside sorting is the preferred method for recycling collections, incorporating a weekly collection of separated recyclables and a suggested fortnightly collection of residual waste.

The Eunomia report confirmed that separate collections systems result in ‘higher quality, less contaminated material,’ which would make the recyclable material collected more appropriate for ‘closed loop uses’ in the UK and Europe.

Trolley trial

The introduction of wheelie boxes follows a short-term recycling trial which took place last year and saw 350 Wrexham properties, covering different demographics and property types, piloting one of two new kerbside sort systems.

Half of the participating properties trialled the Wheelie Boxes, while the other half trialled a ‘Let’s Sort it Out’ system consisting of the council’s current green box and blue bag, but with an extra black box for glass bottles and jars.

Following the trial, the council decided that the Wheelie Box system was preferable and the units will now be rolled out across all of Wrexham. Residents will receive flyers to explain how the service works and how they should sort their recycling.

This new service will help to address concerns raised in an April 2015 report to Wrexham Council’s Executive Board, which stated that changes needed to be made to the recycling system due to factors such as an increased number of residents in the area, a need to update the recycling recovery vehicles and changes to composting regulations meaning cardboard can no longer be included. In addition, collection routes had not been optimised since 2008 despite a consistent evolution in recycling services and report noted the need to meet government recycling targets.

The council hopes that moving to the new kerbside sort system will improve its most recent recycling rate of 57 per cent to meet the next Welsh Government statutory recycling target of 64 per cent by 2019/20.

Wheelie Boxes to ‘complement’ kerbside vehicles

Councillor David Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “The new Wheelie Boxes which complement the new kerbside sort recycling vehicles will play a huge part in ensuring that Wrexham is able to meet its future recycling targets. We hope that the new system will really encourage those households who have them to recycle as much as possible.”