6 Mar 2012

Recycling: changes coming in July

Trashion Show in Randwick last year; reusing waste!
This week councillors were treated to a policy panel about the changes to recycling - the idea being that we can make suggestions and see how the changes can be rolled out smoothly.

Basically in July waste and recycling services provided by the council will be improved to allow more materials to be recycled.  Residents will be able to recycle plastic packaging, cardboard and Tetra Pak items as well as all of the materials currently recycled.  Black bag rubbish will continue to be collected weekly. The improvements mean that on top of the materials currently recycled such as cans, tins, foil, glass bottles and jars, batteries, paper and plastic bottles, residents will be able to recycle other plastics such as food trays, cling film, yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, carrier bags, card, cardboard and waxed cartons (but not hard plastics).

Households will be getting wheelie-bins to accompany the existing green recycling box and weekly black bag. They estimate that 10% of households may not be able to accommodate a wheelie bin and for these properties the Council is working on special arrangements that will be confirmed shortly. I asked how it will be decided who fits in the 10% - basically only if you can't fit a bin in your front garden/yard. Although I suspect there maybe an appeal process.  I also asked if the Assist scheme will continue - this is for disabled or other people who are unable to get their bag or box to the gate - it will continue.

All this means a financial saving to the Council of around £100,000 if I understand it correctly - this is due to landfill credits and sale of recycling goods. Sadly, however, none of the changes will include food waste - largely due to us being locked into a contract with Veolia until 2016 - an issue I've covered before on this blog. I did try and raise at the meeting as I still think we could be encouraging some of that waste to be composted.

One ion four people in the District still don't recycle - we need to do more to help -  after a visit to Mathews Way flats today it seems few even have a recycling bin let alone a place to store it properly. The Council is aware of this and is looking at ways to improve - as noted before our recycling has slipped compared to most councils - we need to do better. This at least is a significant step change that could lead to recycling rates going from around 24% to 34% or hopefully more.

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