Resident hits out at recycling scheme

PUBLISHED: 13:31 27 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:03 06 May 2010

Neil Kotaraski

Neil Kotaraski

A householder has slammed a council s recycling scheme after refuse men said his recycling bin was contaminated and a council official told him not to buy food wrapped in plastic. Neil Kotaraski, of Brunel Drive, Biggles-wade, immediately kicked up a stin

A householder has slammed a council's recycling scheme after refuse men said his recycling bin was contaminated and a council official told him not to buy food wrapped in plastic.

Neil Kotaraski, of Brunel Drive, Biggles-wade, immediately kicked up a stink saying the bin collectors and Mid Beds District Council were both talking rubbish.

His bin and many of those of his neighbours had been left by the bin men who refused to empty them saying they were contaminated with cardboard and plastic.

One council official is then said to have told Mr Kotarski not to buy food wrapped in plastic.

"The bin men came round our street, looked in the bin and left a message saying the bin was contaminated and its contents were not recyclable," said Mr Kotarski.

"They were talking about the cardboard and plastic from the wrapping of an Easter egg and a plastic container used for butter.

"They were talking rubbish. All the items like plastic and cardboard are recyclable. I am trying to do my bit to save the earth and these guys want to throw this stuff in landfill.

"Plastic won't rot down which is why I put it out to be recycled. When I spoke to somebody at the council offices in Biggleswade to complain all he said was not to buy food in plastic containers. Nearly everything you buy in a supermarket is wrapped in plastic for goodness sake."

A council spokesman responded saying: "Our operatives were correct in not collecting these contaminated recyclables. Unfortunately many forms of packaging sold in this country carry recycling logos but cannot be easily recycled here, for example plastic bags, tetrapak and polystyrene.

"We share our residents' frustration at the lack of materials that can be collected locally for recycling. Thin plastics such as display plastic on boxes, yoghurt pots and margerine tubs are not target materials in Bedfordshire and cannot be recycled in the kerbside scheme. This is because there is no local market for these making it totally impractical on the environment and financially on the council taxpayer to transport recyclables over huge distances.

"We need more local processors recycling a wider variety of goods. Corrugated cardboard cannot currently be accepted in the kerbside recycling scheme as it blocks the sorting machine at the recycling plant in Elstow. The county council is making moves to change this in the near future. In the meantime it can be accepted at the county council's household waste recycling centres.

"We would encourage people where possible to reuse their supermarket bags and try and avoid buying products with excessive packaging. For example buy fruit loose rather than presented on polystyrene trays with plastic covering.


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