Refuse and recycle

SIR - It appears that Louise McEvoy has misunderstood recycling policy at household waste recycling centres ( Policy is just rubbish July 17). North Herts District Council has not used recycling as a clever ploy to get people to accept alternate weekl

SIR - It appears that Louise McEvoy has misunderstood recycling policy at household waste recycling centres ("Policy is just rubbish" July 17).

North Herts District Council has not used recycling as a "clever ploy" to get people to accept alternate weekly collections - the two go together, as the district council has always made clear.

The position regarding Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) was given by the HCC spokesperson at the end of the article the previous week, "as a rule, there are no limits on household recyclables but we do limit the disposal of construction or demolition waste to one boot full per month." Alongside this same article was a table of what items constituted a boot full - sacks of bricks and plaster, fencing, doors, etc. There is no limit on garden waste, although soil and rubble from a garden comes under the description of construction or demolition waste.

The limit on disposal of construction and demolition waste at HWRCs is because such waste is defined in law as not being household waste, no matter where its origin, and councils have no obligation to arrange for its collection and disposal. However, we appreciate that people may occasionally need to dispose of a small amount of such waste. The Hertfordshire Waste Partnership, which consists of the county and all Hertfordshire district councils, decided that a certain amount - namely a boot full - of construction or demolition waste could be disposed of at HWRCs. This policy is standard across the county.


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If residents have a larger amount to dispose of, we advise that they either hire a skip (which come in a range of sizes) or buy a skip bag, which are available at most DIY stores.

The county council is responsible for finding ways to dispose of the 600,000 tonnes of household waste produced by Hertfordshire residents each year. Recycling figures for North Herts are good - in the last year over 40% of waste was recycled, with the Stevenage HWRC recycling 51% of the waste it received.

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However, we are not solely concentrating on how we deal with waste or whether we can recycle more. Through the Waste Partnership, all councils are encouraging everyone to reduce the amount of waste they produce, as well as encouraging reuse of certain materials. If you are disposing of furniture or clothes, perhaps think first whether they could be donated to charity.

If, like Louise, you are disposing of garden waste, have you considered composting? There are lots of useful tips on reducing and reusing on the Hertfordshire Waste partnership's website, www.wasteaware.org.uk.

Finally, the county council expects all site staff to deal with members of the public in a courteous and polite manner, and if any resident is treated to the contrary, then incidents can be reported to the county council for investigation on 08457 425000.

County Councillor

DERRICK ASHLEY

Executive Member for Planning, External Relations and Waste

North Herts District Councillor LYNDA NEEDHAM

Portfolio Holder for Waste, Recycling and the Environment

SIR - Regarding derogatory letters regarding staff at the Stevenage recycling depot, I visit the site regularly and have always found the staff there very courteous and go out of their way to help. Perhaps the letter writers visited on one of their 'off' days. We all have them!

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