Make your New Year a green one!
THIS big pile of paper destined for recycling brings a smile to the face of the Herts county councillor with special responsibility for waste management. But he knows that there is much, much more which ends up in landfill – and disposing of it is becomin
THIS big pile of paper destined for recycling brings a smile to the face of the Herts county councillor with special responsibility for waste management.
But he knows that there is much, much more which ends up in landfill - and disposing of it is becoming more and more difficult.
As the New Year gets underway, he is reinforcing the message to reduce, reuse and recycle.
More than half a million tonnes of household waste was produced in the county last year and more than 60 per cent of it was sent to landfill.
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That worries Hitchin county councillor Derrick Ashley who is executive member for planning, partnerships and waste.
He said: "In the past, most waste in Hertfordshire has been sent to landfill but this is no longer viable. It harms the environment and new legislation means it's becoming more and more expensive.
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"The situation that we're faced with means that we don't have an option to sit back and do nothing. We now need a fresh approach to waste management."
At 35 per cent, Herts residents already recycle well above the national average but there needs to be a big improvement on this, he said, adding: "More importantly, we need to reduce the total amount of waste we produce."
This month, Hertfordshire Waste Partnership will circulate a survey to every household in the county asking people for ideas on ways of creating less waste, recycling more and dealing with the residual waste that is left.
Cllr Ashley said: "I urge everyone to take part in this consultation as we have some important decisions to make in Hertfordshire, and the responses we get will help us to do this.
"We want to hear people's views about doorstep collections, recycling and alternative methods of waste disposal."
Questionnaires will be circulated via the Herts Direct magazine.
People can also respond online by visiting www.wasteaware.org.uk/strategy
Initiatives proposed include getting 3,000 more households a year to begin home composting, extending the current cash-back offer to parents using real nappies and creating a directory of re-use businesses and charities.
The county council aims to achieve a recycling rate of 50 per cent by 2012.