Norwich flat-dwellers get better recycling

Shaun LowthorpePeople living in council-owned flats in Norwich are to benefit from changes to make it easier to recycle their rubbish as part of a �1.2m initiative to cut waste.Shaun Lowthorpe

People living in council-owned flats in Norwich are to benefit from changes to make it easier to recycle their rubbish as part of a �1.2m initiative to cut waste.

Currently there is a mishmash of approaches across the city for people in flats with some able to recycle their rubbish and others not.

Now Norwich City Council is rolling out new facilities across 42 blocks of flats in a bid to standardise and streamline the service.

Changes include new purpose built communal areas to house wheelie bins with one for recycling paper, card, steel and aluminium tins and cans, plastic bottles and metal aerosol cans, and one for glass recycling glass bottles and jars, and a third bin for general household waste.

Mark Smith, who lives in a first floor flat in Penn Grove, Mile Cross, and worked with the council to suggest improvements, said he hoped it would make recycling easier and cut fly-tipping, which had been a problem near his home.

The 36-year-old, who is blind, said he was pleased with the new collection areas which had a proper hard-standing surface and had been fenced off.

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'It's made a tremendous difference,' Mr Smith said. 'The bins were on a grass slope under a tree and there were problems with fly-tipping with old vacuum cleaners, and cardboard boxes and bits of old carpet.

'The refuse collectors would often leave the bins higgledy-piggledy after they'd been and it was a real mess.'

Brenda Arthur, executive member for housing and adult services, said: 'The introduction of a wider recycling service to flats has been something residents have been wanting for some time. It's really good that the collections will be starting soon and I hope people take advantage of the new and improved service as it goes live in their neighbourhood.

'These new facilities will help more people to recycle more items, more easily, from their homes, which can only be a good thing.'

Information about the new services will be delivered to properties affected from this week.

Figures from Defra in 2008-09 put Norwich in the top 10 authorities across the whole country for reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.

And the introduction of the service is geared towards helping the city council reach its long term aim of being among the best performing authorities in the country in terms of waste reduction.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, executive member for residents and customer care, said: 'Having these new bins instead of plastic bags will really help with problems like litter and loose waste on the streets.

'This new way of collecting also means crews won't have to go in to individual buildings anymore to get individual bins, cutting down the likelihood of spillages and mess in stairwells and on landings, as well as making the collections quicker generally.'

Because of the different types of properties involved, in-depth consultations were held ahead of the changes to provide the best solution for residents while a survey of more than 400 housing sites around the city was also carried out.

Areas where the changes will be rolled out are:

Marlpit including Dereham Road flats

Pippin Green and Russett Grove.

Springbank and Webdell Court, Lakenham.

All of the Mousehold Street and Barrack Street area

All of the Vauxhall Street Area.

Trafalgar Street, Southwell Road and Cherry Close area.