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'Bin day' is going to be interesting next week... My local authority is changing the way we recycle. This week we've had to put all five bins out for emptying. They were returned with stickers on, telling us what they're to be used for in future.
We used to have to put certain of our recyclables into a large-ish black bin, others into a blue box, some into a green box and our proper rubbish (for landfill) into a big green bin. Our food waste went into a small caddy. It's been like that for years.
My green bin could take months to fill, as I recycle as much as I can and thus rarely use it. However, it's a struggle to fit all my waste packaging and leaflets into the slightly smaller black bin and I'm lucky that the refuse collectors have been brilliant in taking any extra cardboard I've left beside it. I'm clearly not the only one, since the council has decided to swap these two bins over, so the bulk of the waste will in future go into the larger bin, rather than us trying to shoehorn it into the smaller one.
Sensible, then? Not 100%... Into this larger waste packaging bin, we now also have to fit bulky recyclables such as newspapers, magazines and tins (which used to go into - and often fill - the blue or green boxes). It's not all going to fit...
On top of that is the confusion. Whenever my daughters are home, things end up in the wrong bins, as different schemes ran in their university cities and other places they've lived. There's no consistency between boroughs.
Then there's the elderly, who may be forgetful and confused anyway (I put my mother's bins out for collection yesterday and can see she has little idea of where anything should go as it is, so when it changes next week, she has no chance)! How many, like her, are contaminating the loads? Contaminated bundles of recycled goods naturally don't command as good a price when sold, so although 'the big switch' probably aims to increase recycling, it may end up reducing the council's income. Recycling should be made easier - not more difficult.
Co-mingling (putting all dry recyclables into the same bin for sorting by refuse workers who know what they're doing) would alleviate many problems. Could someone please explain why we don't co-mingle?
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18th May 2017