Monday, 7 April 2014

Waste recycling Colchester style

Colchester thoughts

In Colchester, UK we have the luxury of having waste collected from our doorsteps.
Not the end of the road and, no, we don't have to take it to the tip.
We have a selection of collections:
Non-recyclable, every week
Paper, every two weeks
Glass, every two weeks
Tin, every two weeks
Food waste, I'll be honest I don't know how often it's collected, I have a composter and I eat what I buy, but there is a special bin provided
Plastic, every two weeks
Garden waste, every two weeks in a heavy duty reusable bag
Paper, glass and plastic goes in bags supplied by the council.
They're plastic bags.
Glass and tins go in a plastic, reusable crate supplied by the council.
So far, so good, so lucky.
The food containers are supposed to be used with biodegradable bags which residents have to buy at a cost of about £1.
The bags, crate, garden bags and food container are all delivered free.
The recyclable items bags and non-recyclable are delivered into our front gardens regularly.
Whether we need them or not.
Now it's time for councils to cut back on costs and waste is one of the areas they're looking at.

I emailed a suggestion that the clear printed bags used for paper and plastics could have the last but one bag printed in red so that the binmen were aware that a new roll of bags was needed. To me this would indicate a need and reduce the amount delivered simply by the calendar.
The simple fact is that people don't use them for recycling. So they're giving bags to houses where there are already three rolls.
Apparently a feasibility study decided that this would encourage people to waste more.
I don't know how.
Maybe someone who reads this could let me know what I'm missing here - please :)

Today's newspaper shows a local Councillor bemoaning the introduction of a charge for replacing garden bags when they're worn out.
Mr Will Quince says that charging for them at £3.64 will affect recycling rates.
He states that the fact that they are free at the moment means that those without gardens are subsidising those without.
I agree but frankly am surprised that they are only delivered to those with gardens. Quite insightful of our council.
He does let us know what happens to the waste, sort of. Apparently Colchester Council gets "compost credits" for every tonne recycled. I don't know about you but I have no idea what I could do with a "compost credit"? Would it be anything useful or would I need 10? 100? 1000?
He suggests that the bags are worn out by being dragged to the dustcart by the workers. Maybe, maybe not.

Surely the bags that are worn out are simply those that are being used. Correctly or incorrectly.

So the people who are recycling are effectively being penalised for doing so.
How about having a garden bag amnesty.
Not the most sexy of ideas but there must be loads of them lying around not being used.
Hey Colchester Council- recycle them!
Whatever is done I know I'm not the only one looking forward to the discount on my council tax bill caused by the savings.

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