The Month in Wheelie Bin Headlines
Residents in Tendring are calling for a change to recycling services to help tackle the impact that plastic is having on the environment.
Residents currently have a green box for plastic bottles and tins, and a red box for paper and cardboard, plus food waste caddies and an optional garden waste collection service. But they say that neighbouring councils like Colchester and Ipswich do more and Tendring council doesn’t recycle enough plastic. Residents say they are frustrated at having to put recyclable plastic in the bin, and that their local recycling centre is too small for the size of the area it covers.
The concerns come in the face of council plans to reduce waste collections to fortnightly, which residents say would not be a problem if plastics could be recycled. Some residents are concerned about an increase in fly-tipping, which might occur if waste builds up.
The council’s response was that the more things they recycle, especially the items that are recycled together, have to be sorted and separated, and this brings with it a considerable cost. They also pointed out that there are now concerns about plastic recycling on an international scale, due to the recent Chinese ban on imports, and these factors play a part in the council’s tendency to be conservative about what they collect for recycling.
The council also called on residents to reduce waste by reusing items where possible, and to avoid buying any items with excessive packaging where possible.
A Pensioner from Oban has built a barricade of wheelie bans around his home to stop work vans parking there. The 69-year-old got fed up after seeing parking spaces for elderly people being filled with tradesman’s vehicles for up to 12 hours per day. This meant there were no spaces for the older people themselves, or their relatives.
So the man, who calls himself ‘Victor Meldrew,’ started putting bins in the road then standing across the road from them, at 6am in the morning.
The issue of the work vans parking in residential spaces only became an issue because a school is being built nearby.
His wheelie bin blockade has worked, though now workmen are parking their vans on pavements, which raises concerns about access along the road, especially for emergency vehicles.
Argyll and Bute Council said they can’t control where their contractors park, but they have passed on residents’ concerns and asked the contractors to take them into consideration.
Residents living in new-build properties in Newark and Sherwood could soon get smaller wheelie bins for household waste.
The district council’s leisure and environment committee are drafting proposals for properties to be allocated bins depending on how many people live there. So if the council approve the proposals, a home with 2 residents would be given a 140-litre bin, a home with 3-5 residents would get a 240-litre bin, and if 6-8 people live in a property, they would get a 360-litre bin.
Most homes currently have a standard 240- litre bin for non-recyclable household waste which is emptied once per fortnight.
The proposals are part of the council’s waste management strategy which is set to run until 2020, and the aim is to encourage people to recycle more of their household waste. Other neighbouring councils have reduced their standard bin size to 180 litres.
The council recycles just over 30% of its waste, much lower than the 59% that is recycled by the top 10 best performing local authorities. More than 1000 extra tonnes of household waste were collected in 2016-17, compared with the previous year.
The council made over £60,000 in charges it levies on white goods and bulky items collection, though some councillors have voiced their concern that charging for collections has led to an increase in fly-tipping, as some people just don’t want to pay.
The district’s recycling efforts are being hampered by people putting the wrong items in their recycling bin. The council has a contract with Veolia, who stipulate that any waste sent to their recycling centres for processing should contain less than 5% non-recyclable material or they can refuse to accept the entire load. Fines are being increasingly given out to people who put the wrong things in their recycling bin.