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Waste collection consultation

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default Waste collection consultation

Post by Chilli-head on 2nd March 2018, 11:11 am

Our local council here is doing a consultation on waste collection.  The contract is up for renewal so a good time to think about change. They are interested in reducing the cost, and / or increasing recycling.  

We currently get:

  • Mixed recycling wheelie bin - paper, card, metal, plastics including film. Every 2 weeks.
  • Electricals - leave out by the bin
  • Food waste - for some homes, a caddy that is taken weekly for anaerobic digestion.
  • Green garden waste, with recycling, for some of the year. For industrial composting.
  • The rest - black bin, some recyclables recovered, rest for "Thermal treatment" Wink (sounds a lot like burning to me). Every 2 weeks, alternate with recycling.

Their suggestions seem to be:

  • Extend food waste collection to all homes, no cost savings because of cost of extra collections, but keeps smelly and methane generating food waste out of general waste.
  • Reduce general waste collections to one week in 3.  Significant cash saving, hope to force increased recycling.
  • Extend garden waste collection to full year, charging £40 annually to those who use it. Significant cash saving.
  • Collect paper and card separately, with a separate crate for each household, to increase the quality / value of the paper for recycling.
  • Possibly collect glass bottles - at the moment, we must recycle them ourselves.

It seems to me quite complicated as to what is for the best.  There are not just practical issues, but psychological ones too.  The things that have caused uproar are the 3 weekly general waste, especially with regard to animal waste and nappies, and the charge for green waste, which has so far been "free" or included in the council tax budget, so some see it as being asked to pay twice.

Although all the separate collections for glass and paper sound good in principle, I wonder whether asking people to sort more will mean fewer bother, and where we will store the various bins/crates/bags of sorted waste !  I also wonder whether charging for the green waste collection will mean a lot more goes in the general waste bin.  I compost almost all mine, but maybe two or three times a year use the green waste sacks for roots, blighty potatoes etc that I can't or don't want to put on my heap. I don't think it would be worth £40, so presumbly I'd have to drive it to the tip, which is not great either.

What is the best solution ? Well, create less waste in the first place of course.  The number of people complaining that their bins are already full with fortnightly collections does make me despair, how do they generate so much ?
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default Re: Waste collection consultation

Post by FloBear on 2nd March 2018, 11:32 am

The trouble is, if people are asked to do too much separating they don't bother and can contaminate recyclable materials rendering them unusable.
Those who complain about being charged for a green waste collection should be shown the figures and asked what services - police, libraries, or whatever, they would like to see reduced so that they can continue to have this 'free' service.

Food waste needs to be once a week for everyone, I think, and general waste is fine fortnightly, not sure I'd want it extended to three-weekly esp. in the summer months. I read somewhere that the breeding cycle of the housefly is 8 days which is why collections were originally weekly.
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Post by freebird on 2nd March 2018, 5:55 pm

We have fortnightly collections, with landfill waste and paper/card alternating with all other recyclables. Food waste is collected every week. Green waste bin costs £75 per year, collected fortnightly.

I considered having a green waste bin, but decided instead to put the money towards a shredder. Best thing I could have done as it has tripled my compost production.
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Post by Dandelion on 3rd March 2018, 9:53 pm

FloBear wrote:
I read somewhere that the breeding cycle of the housefly is 8 days which is why collections were originally weekly.

That is so interesting!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion on 3rd March 2018, 10:03 pm

Our rubbish/recycling is more simple. General rubbish one week, and mixed recycling the next. In the recycling we can put glass, plastic bottles and containers (but not lids), card and paper. I think you can buy green bags for garden waste (not sure of the cost) but the contents of the green bags go to landfill, which seems lazy and a bit dishonest to me (because people assume that the stuff gets composted). We do have a site outside Worcester which makes compost on an industrial scale -I was able to visit it when I did my Master Composter training. To get garden waste composted you have to take it to one of the county's household waste centres. Our general waste should have been collected on Friday but wasn't because of the snow - we now have to wait another month for it to be collected. We're OK, because we don't tend to put food waste in the bin (now the children have left home there isn't much!), and we obviously don't have things like disposable nappies. but I suspect some local residents are going to be very unhappy about this. At least there are fewer smells and flies at this time of year!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion on 3rd March 2018, 10:07 pm

If I was going to change our system, I would like to be able to recycle more - things such as lids (which are made of recycleable material, but our recycling is sorted partly visually. Anything flat is reckoned to be card or paper, so margarine tub lids for instance are too confusing). I would love to be able to recycle polythene bags, plastic film and foil from the kerbside. It's just that our system won't allow it, not that it's impossible.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 4th March 2018, 9:20 am

The most important issue with regard to waste is to generate much, much less.  This is down to the manufacturers and retailers just as much as the individual.
We have weekly collections alternating between General waste + food waste and recyclables (not glass).
I frequently don't remember to put the bag out the night before and the lorry whizzes through at 6.00am but even if I miss a collection I often don't have a full bag to go out (4 weeks worth).  A lot of that is down to producing a large proportion of our own food.  I've never had food waste collected.  We just don't have any.  If anything escapes the compost bin or the dustbin that is Mr P it will be devoured by dogs.  The very occasional food waste (e.g.bones not suitable for dogs) goes in the (gasification) boiler.
We're fortunate not to have any smoke restrictions here so can burn if necessary.
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