Thornbury will soon get a new recycling service

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By steve_truckle | Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 09:54

NEW recycling services in South Gloucestershire havs been given the go ahead.

The authority's cabinet has approved changes to its contract with SITA, which will lead to the collection  of plastic bottles and food waste from customers homes in the area.

Cllr Heather Goddard, cabinet member for Communities, said: "We have given the green light to the biggest expansion of recycling services in South Gloucestershire in a decade, which will break through the 50 per cent recycling target that we have set as a minimum so our performance remains ahead of many other councils”

She continued by saying "Importantly, the rolling out of weekly food waste and fortnightly plastic bottle collections to all households can be funded from within the council's existing waste management budget as part of a revised contract and so - unlike Liberal Democrat proposals - there is no additional cost to the council tax payer”

The new services have been welcomed by other councillors at the authority who have also campaigned for plastic bottle and food waste collections.

Cllr Dave Hockey said: "Kerbside collection of plastic bottles and food waste are good for local residents, for council tax payers and for the environment - thank goodness we've finally got through to our Tory Administration."

The proposed date for the two collections to start across the district is this winter.

Is this a good idea? What do you think? I for one am all for recycling but will it soon get to the point where my garden is just full of different recycling boxes? Already I just like every other house hold in the area a green bin, black bin, recycling bag and a green box and even a bag for old batteries!

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  • Profile image for steve_truckle

    yes mate i totally agree with you and your comments.

    By steve_truckle at 21:28 on 27/05/10

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  • Profile image for StanMor

    Thanks for that Steve and thanks to Andrew Gore for a detailed response. Bit of a curates egg though.

    Plastic Types: I accept that I should only deposit bottles (it is after all a 'bottle' bank, not a 'various things made of plastic' bank), and from this reply I can deposit any 'bottle' made of any type of plastic. Seems fair, though does leave open the question of what is a bottle? e.g. Is a plastic engine oil container a bottle, as it has a small sealable neck? Not trying to be awkward, but the clearer the guidance the more gets correctly deposited.

    Vegetable matter;: This does not really answer my question. For example, I can put dug-up potatoes in the green bin, but not potato peelings, I can put in cabbage plants but not trimmed leaves and stalks, I can put in windfall apples but not 'gone-o***' from the fruit bowl. All are compostable so why can the council heap not cope with them? Why not say "if it can be composted put it out, if in doubt don't" and trust us?

    Envelopes; Plastic windows I accept are a problem but (a) you can rip them out and (b) half my envelopes don't have them in the first place. If gum is really a problem, why are yellow pages and other bound books/catalogues with glued spines acceptable? Sending any paper to landfill is just plain wasteful

    Cost:; Not my question but while we are on the subject .... it seems that as a council taxpayer I am caught all ways. If the council doesn't recycle it has to pay the government, if it does it has to pay for the service. Both ways I pay and the council has no say in whether a specific recycling is actually worthwhile as it has to pay either way. I'm all for recycling, though would prefer cutting potential waste at source through e.g. less packaging, but am concernd that we will end up like other councils with rows of bins, boxes and bags wherever you look.

    By StanMor at 21:20 on 27/05/10

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  • Profile image for steve_truckle

    StanMor, I emailed South Gloucestershire Council some questions based on points raised within this article and below are the comments that I have today received back from Andrew Gore, Waste Collections Officer for the council:-

    Response to a question about the types of bottles:-

    The types of plastic that we can collect are types 1 and 2 and are predominately used in the manufacturing of domestic plastic bottles including milk, fizzy drinks, shampoo, detergent, moisturiser bottles etc.

    When South Gloucestershire Council introduced the plastic bottle recycling banks there were concerns that asking residents to only place types 1 and 2 plastic into the banks was going to be difficult because the bottles are not always clearly labelled and residents may not have the time to check individual plastic containers to assess their suitability for recycling.

    Therefore to keep things as simple as possible and to minimise the risk of any other non recyclable plastics, such as food containers, entering the collection banks, we stick to a simple message which is that we only collect plastic bottles.

    A list of the plastic bottle banks located in South Gloucestershire can be found by visiting the South Gloucestershire Council waste web pages or by contacting the Streetcare helpdesk on 01454 868000

    response to a question asked about food waste:-

    The contents of the green bin are currently sent to an open air composting facility, which due to environmental regulations can only accept garden waste and cardboard.

    In terms of vegetable matter we would recommend, where possible, to use a garden compost bin. The council offers competitively priced compost bins and information on how to purchase and use them can be found on the council’s website or by contacting the Streetcare helpdesk on 01454 868000

    We recognise that not all gardens are suitable for a compost bin and they are also unsuitable for cooked food waste. Therefore the council will be introducing a food waste collection service this winter which aims to address these concerns.

    The service will entail a weekly collection of both cooked and non cooked food waste from the kerbside and the contents will be taken to a controlled enclosed facility were the material will be turned into nutrient rich compost.

    More details about the food waste collection service will be issued to residents in due course.

    Response to a question asked about paper collections:-

    Currently the newspapers and magazines that are collected are sent to a paper mill in North Wales where they are recycled into newspaper.

    External markets set the quality standards for which the paper mill has to work to. In turn the paper mill advises suppliers, such as South Gloucestershire Council on what paper they can accept.

    As part of these quality standards the paper mill has informed us that they cannot accept envelopes. This is because they contain small plastic address windows and glue to seal them.

    These two elements can contaminate the recycled newspaper and ultimately compromise on its quality.

    Wrapping paper is not accepted for the same reasons. It is often contaminated with sellotape, glitter or is plastic coated, all of which would make it unstable for the paper mill process.

    Response to a question asked about the cost of the plans:-

    Inevitability their will be costs to introduce new services to residents, however these costs will be o***et by the amount of money that is saved through landfill tax savings.

    The Council currently pays £48 in landfill tax for every tonne of waste sent to landfill. These taxes are set to increase by £8 per tonne per year until they reach £80 per tonne by 2014/15. Introducing new services to divert recyclable material away from landfill sites will in the long term help make these savings.

    So what do you think about the response to the questions asked?

    By steve_truckle at 12:16 on 27/05/10

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  • Profile image for StanMor

    Back to the original question - are the new collections a good idea?
    Wel, it depends. I'm all for having plastic collected but can the operators improve on the definitions of what is acceptable? The bins in town say something like 'type xyz bottles only', now I have no idea what xyz is so am I OK in putting out bleach bottles (opaque coloured plastic), showergel (clear plastic), softening liquid (opaque various) and so on as well as the ubiquitous milk bottles?
    As for food, why can I not put vegetable matter, peelings etc in the green bin for composting which probably constitutes over half my food waste? Do we really need another major process (which a separate bin entails) to pick up the odd plate scrapings?
    And finally, (I'm on a rant here) why does the paper collection exclude all envelopes? If I follow the 'rules', I open my junk mail, put the content in the paper bag and the envelope in the black bin -  how saving is that?
    And finally, finally - why is coated paper from leaflets etc acceptable but wrapping paper not? What's the difference?

    By StanMor at 01:02 on 21/05/10

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  • Profile image for steve_truckle

    Hiya mwingereza, thanks for your input, I don’t think a small bin for food waste is the answer. If you live on your own or a single couple then it wouldn’t be much of an issue.

    But if you have children then you would have to make sure that it is kept out of the reach of children otherwise as you will know (if you have children) they try to get their hands on everything.

    Also again depending on your age you might remember the old style bins? if you do then you will remember that foxes, dogs & cats ect kept pulling rubbish out which resulted in rubbish being scattered all over the street! also the issue of Rats!

    Yes I am critical of the idea and I don’t have an alternative idea to put forward but this is my comments on the idea. Just because I don’t have an alternative solution it doesn’t mean that I am wrong.
    Although I agree that something does need to be done and again I really am for recycling I have children of my own and I strongly push the fact that our children are the future. It's a future that we have to start building today.

    But if you visit other areas ie Bath the night before bin collections then you will see for yourself that in built up areas this idea does not work. try researching on the internet about this and you will find many negative comments on the matter.

    At the moment my food waste goes in my bin just like every other house hold. again this is not something that I am disputing. I agree that something needs o be done and again I am happy that changes are happening. BUT that doesn’t mean that the correct idea will be used.

    Everyone has their own views and comments and again this is only my views on the matter, not everyone will agree but clearly people do.

    Again thanks for your input, Any other comments on this matter from anyone? is this the correct way forward? has anyone used the proposed idea in another area before?

    By steve_truckle at 07:38 on 20/05/10

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