‘Insulting and derogatory’ stickers which aim to encourage Peterborough residents to recycle are not recyclable

The sticker stuck on Mark Mason's bin
The sticker stuck on Mark Mason's bin
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‘Insulting’ stickers which aim to encourage residents to recycle are not recyclable, the Peterborough Telegraph can reveal.

Thousands of homes in Peterborough have seen red stickers with the word ‘waster’ stuck on their black bins this week.

This sticker will be stuck onto green bins in Woodston and Orton Malborne

This sticker will be stuck onto green bins in Woodston and Orton Malborne

The stickers - which have been placed on bins in Orton Malbourne and Sugar Way, are part of a scheme by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), which aims to encourage people to recycle.

Residents in Sugar Way reacted angrily to seeing the stickers - Mark Mason, who lives on the Sugar Way estate said: “Waster is a derogatory word and I found it most insulting,” while Connor Grove added: “It’s quite insulting considering we recycle as much as we are allowed to recycle.”

Fletton and Woodston ward councillor, Andy Coles said: “I have had a number of comments from local people who were very unhappy with this pr stunt.”

Green stickers with the word ‘recycler’ are planned to be placed on green bins next week.

The 'waster' sticker

The 'waster' sticker

Today a spokesman for WRAP - an organisation which aims to reduce waste - confirmed the stickers are not recyclable - and said residents ‘may want to dispose’ of the stickers.

The spokesman said: “Recycle Now aims to ensure that all materials used are the most sustainable option available. On this occasion, there were no recyclable options for this sticker. They were designed to be resilient and withstand outdoor conditions in order to last for the lifetime of the bin.

“A learning from this trial is that residents may want to remove these stickers and dispose of them.”

Today Peterborough City Councillor Jullie Howell, who represents the Green Party said: “The majority of residents understand what their green bin is for so stickering every bin doesn’t make sense and creates a waste of resources.

This sticker will be used on green bins in Castor, Ailsworth and Hampton

This sticker will be used on green bins in Castor, Ailsworth and Hampton

“Our council, like every council, does need to improve its recycling rates and Peterborough’s record on this is better than other councils in England.

“Given that our residents are already pretty clued in when it comes to recycling I’d like to see a more sophisticated plan that reaches those people who regularly contaminate their green bins, rather than preaching to the converted with materials that are not recyclable and add to the problem rather than solving it.”

Cllr Coles added: “You couldn’t make this up if you tried, could you?

“WRAP fails to see the hypocrisy of using non recyclable materials in its own campaign to encourage recycling? Words almost fail me. Perhaps after this exposure they will revisit this national project and think more carefully about how to improve recycling through positive encouragement and by practicing what they preach.”

This sticker will be used on black bins in Castor, Ailsworth and Hampton

This sticker will be used on black bins in Castor, Ailsworth and Hampton

A spokesman for Peterborough City Council said they were not funding the scheme, but were working with WRAP on it. They confirmed the green stickers would still be issued next week.

As part of the pilot scheme, more traditional images are being tested in the Castor, Ailsworth and Hampton areas, with a green sticker including an arrow and the word ‘recycling’ for the green bins, and an image of a bin lorry and the word ‘rubbish’ on a red sticker for black bins.

In total 7,000 homes will have the stickers placed on their bins.

Rubbish collected from the homes in the pilot scheme will be monitored to see how much recycling attitudes change.

The WRAP spokesman said they could not confirm how much the project was costing as it was ‘part of a wider contract.’

Related: Anger of ‘insulting’ stickers placed on bins