Recycle rules are mad

PUBLISHED: 12:32 27 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:03 06 May 2010

We religiously separate our waste for recycling. Tins and paper in the blue box, bottles and jars in the red box, garden waste (but not sticks over 2cm thick or soil or fallen leaves or stumps etc) and vegetable and fruit peelings from the kitchen into th

We religiously separate our waste for recycling. Tins and paper in the blue box, bottles and jars in the red box, garden waste (but not sticks over 2cm thick or soil or fallen leaves or stumps etc) and vegetable and fruit peelings from the kitchen into the brown wheelie bin.

My wife hassles me when I moan if anyone has chucked paper in the waste bin in the kitchen. We collect and flatten all cardboard and take it to the tip for recycling once a month. Ditto with any clean wood. We shred all paper that has personal details on it, which takes ages because we receive loads of junk mail.

We are working together as a family so that our young daughters are growing up to know why and how we are recycling. Anything not allowed in the recycling boxes is taken to the waste management centre (the dump/tip/whatever it is called).

However, recently, we saved all of the wrapping paper from our daughter's birthday presents. The blue box was full so we put the paper into a large plastic carrier bag and placed this beside the blue box at the next rubbish collection day. That evening I found that the boxes had been emptied but the bag was left full of the wrapping paper in the street.

I contacted the waste management team and had my hand slapped. OK, I was very naughty, I should have squeezed it into the blue box or waited until the following week because the rules are that bags are not to be touched by the refuse collection operatives. The bag was a large bag that was not tied up so that it was easier for someone to tip this into the receptacle on the vehicle. Fine, rules are rules, I will not do it again !

However, what I was astounded to learn, when I discussed this with the waste management team, was that I was even naughtier because I was actually not allowed to put wrapping paper in the blue bin anyway because it cannot be recycled.

I give up! Whatever next, we have to wash our rubbish before it goes in a black bag because it's too dirty? I promise not to use a hosepipe.

LEE CHAMBERS, Hertford Road, Stevenage


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