Farce over recycle bins

PUBLISHED: 12:40 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2010

Mid Beds District Council have instructed the contractor for green bin recycled waste not to empty any bins containing bin liners/plastic bags of waste after the end of February. This is supposed to be because some people hide non-recycle waste in bin lin

Mid Beds District Council have instructed the contractor for green bin recycled waste not to empty any bins containing bin liners/plastic bags of waste after the end of February. This is supposed to be because some people hide non-recycle waste in bin liners in the green dustbins. In future all recycle waste items must be individually put into the green bin.

I believe this to be a totally thoughtless and pointless directive which will lead to a vast reduction in the amount of recycling and an increase in fly-tipping.

Firstly, the misuse of recycle bins will continue because it is simple to hide non-recycle waste under other items in the bin, so a directive not to empty the bin if it contains visible plastic bags will make little or no difference to amount of misuse. Education, persuasion, and regular collection would have more impact.

Secondly, households who do recycle often have two waste bins in the kitchen, one for recycle green and one for black non-recycle waste. Mid Beds Council might like to note that the standard waste bin equipment, available in every supermarket and used by millions of households is a bin liner with either drawstring or tie handle tops. It is inconceivable that every item for recycling should be individually carried, by hand, and put in the green dustbin. It is also a pointless imposition to suggest that householders collect recycle waste in their kitchen bins, remove the bin liner and make it safe to carry to the dustbin and then reopen the bin liner and shake out the contents. It is far more likely that all bin liners, green or otherwise, will simply go in the black bins and not be recycled. As the black bins will be over-full we will see an increase in fly-tipping.

Banning bin liners in the green waste will not reduce misuse, and the council must be aware of this. The real reason for the directive is more likely to be that the contractors who handle the recycle waste do not want to open bin bags, so this is being pushed back to the householders.

It is not so long ago that the dustmen used to come down the garden path to the rear of the house, collect and empty a dustbin and replace the correct bin. The refuse collection was weekly and did not leave rubbish blowing about in the streets. Now the contractors will not set foot on a garden path. Dustbins are on the pavement causing obstruction and problems for anyone with walking difficulties, pushchairs and mobility aids. Waste from the bins blows about the street and the dustbin is hurled back onto the middle of the pavement anywhere within half a dozen houses distance so the householder can search for it! How long will it be before we are told to carry our own bins to the collection lorry and take turns to drive the truck!

Enough is enough, think again Mid Beds Council. Banning bin liners from green bins will do nothing but damage to the recycling targets and cost a fortune in clearing fly-tipping.

MRS LESLEY LEWIN, The Coppens, Stotfold

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