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First colour coded bin bag scheme introduced in Cumbria

A council in Cumbria has reduced the amount of waste it sends to landfill by introducing the first colour coded bin bag scheme in the country, where residents are allocated two bags each per week and pay for each additional bag. Eden District Council, in Cumbria launched a colour coded bin bag scheme in 2004 where it provided a maximum of two blue refuse sacks per household, per week for the collection of household refuse. If residents need extra bags they can purchase them at £1 each. Supporters of the scheme say it encourages recycling and reduces the amount of waste poured into landfill tips. Senior assistant director community services Dennis George said: The scheme started originally because commercial waste was mixing with the domestic waste stream. To stop this from happening we introduced a colour bag scheme for householders only. Along with the bags, green boxes with recyclable materials such as paper and cans are collected once a week. Georges advice to other councils is that a complementary recycling scheme beside the colour bag scheme is essential if it is to prove successful. He said: Eden reduced its tonnage the first year we rolled the scheme out by 20%. It was mayhem when we first started for the first six months because the scheme was new for everybody. Alternate Week Collections were going to cost us a significant amount, so we opted for the colour bag scheme. Broxbourne Council in Hertfordshire are planning to introduce the scheme to its district at the beginning of November, much to the dismay of its residents, as reported in the Daily Mail. Over a period of six months residents will be issued with purple bags to put their waste in, any additional bags will cost 28 pence each. A Broxbourne spokesman said: This is not a stealth tax we do not force people to buy additional purple bags. If people want help in reducing the amount of waste they produce, a recycling adviser will help them out.

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