Council commits to recycling

PUBLISHED: 12:39 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

SIR – In response to Hannah Gray s column that appeared in the May 25 edition of The Comet, on what basis can Hannah say that Stevenage Borough Council has no commitment to recycling? Since 1994 the percentage of Stevenage s waste that s been recycled i

SIR - In response to Hannah Gray's column that appeared in the May 25 edition of The Comet, on what basis can Hannah say that Stevenage Borough Council has no commitment to recycling?

Since 1994 the percentage of Stevenage's waste that's been recycled increased from two per cent to its current level of 27 per cent.

This progress has been made because of the huge amount of work and investment to provide new and improved recycling services. We do a lot of work to publicise these services so that residents use them and in turn Stevenage people play their part and are recycling more and more of their waste.

The most recently published Government figures show that Stevenage is just outside the top 25 per cent of the best English councils for recycling performance. This was before we introduced the brown bin scheme for garden waste so we anticipate that the next time the figures are published we will be in the top 25 per cent of performers.

The town's recycling performance will further improve when we are able to include kitchen waste and cardboard in garden waste collections. This change will be made as soon as Hertfordshire County Council is able to provide a suitable composting facility to accept this type of waste.

Hannah says how disappointed she was with recycling provision when she moved from Mid Bedfordshire to Stevenage during 2002. She may be interested to note that at this time, Stevenage was recycling 15 per cent of its waste, compared to nine per cent for Mid Beds.

It is worth noting that paper causes greater environmental damage than plastic when landfilled. The worst materials that can be put into landfill are those that will break down such as garden waste, paper and card. As they rot they produce methane which contributes to global warming. When landfilled, black sacks do not break down and therefore don't release pollutants into the environment. This is why we have given priority to collecting garden waste, paper and card for recycling instead of plastics.

With regard to the wheelie bin versus refuse bag debate, we are considering the options for the future. We know that some residents prefer to keep a black sack service, and when we introduced the brown bin scheme it showed us that wheeled bins could create problems of their own with regard to access and storage.

In conclusion, the facts are that Stevenage residents and the council together are successfully increasing the amount of waste recycled in the town and making a real contribution to reducing waste going into landfill.

DAVE WHITE

Environmental Campaigns Manager

Stevenage Borough Council

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