The Recycle Path

Our local council has been quite smart about its push on recycling. While some have risked the anger of the Daily Mail and Eric Pickles by lumbering local taxpayers with umpteen recycling bins and cutting back refuse collection, ours has taken the softly, softly approach.

It started with a green bin for garden rubbish, and would we mind using a black box for glass and a bag for paper. This stepped up with a brown wheelie for glass, plastic bottles and cans and a blue one for paper and card. And all the time they were experimenting with other ideas in some parts of town to demonstrate their acceptability.

They have now mobilised the next stage of their offensive and today issued us with a small black wheelie bin for household refuse and a dinkily named food-waste caddy. This is meant to sit on a kitchen worktop to take our meal scraps and used teabags, neatly packaged in a compostable liner for depositing in our green bin.

This smelly stuff will be collected every week we are promised, although I wonder how long it will be before more experiments demonstrate that once a fortnight is acceptable.

Not that I’m against recycling or in favour of waste. By coincidence, I was at the tip recyling centre tonight. It has become quite an industry and as you can see by clicking my photo above, there is a place for everything and everything in its place when it comes to recycling.

Below those railings are separate skips for garden waste, rubble, wood, paper and cardboard, large appliances, small appliances, metal and a catchall non-recyclable. Elsewhere there are others for clothing, shoes, fluorescent tubes, types, motor oil, car batteries, household batteries and deceased relatives. {That last one isn’t operational yet}

It is even more baffling than shopping for the goods in the first place. There were only four cars there and we wandered up and down the line of skips, arms loaded with detritus and exchanging words like: “Have you seen one for old mattresses?”

The saddest bit though was the sign on leaving that proclaims they were “30% succesful” last month. I’m not quite sure what it was they were successful at, but three out of ten doesn’t sound like much to write home about.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Francisca 5th October 2010

    In our household (of two) we’ve been separating our refuse for decades. One for organics for the compost; others for glass, for tins, for plastics, for papers and for “the rest”. It’s no big deal when it becomes automatic. But no one ever “gave” us the bins. 🙂

    I spent some time admiring your header. Did you do your own flash or have someone do that for you? I may copy… 😉 Interesting blog you have here.

    You asked if my horses in Mongolia photo was a panorama or a crop. It was the latter. In fact, just before arriving in Mongolia my regular lens decided to break down and for my entire trip I had to use a telephoto lens. It did my photos no harm.

  • Yorkshire Pudding 5th October 2010

    Sometimes I think the people in charge of recycling schemes haven’t got the sense they were born with. Here in Sheffield they introduced home bins for plastic recycling but ONLY plastic bottles without their tops. What do they expect people to do with the other plastic – including the tops? I still save ours in a bin I bought myself and every three weeks take it to the dump (recycling centre) but I bet thousands of others just put that non-designated plastic in the regular household waste bins. Gnash Rant! If I were in charge of recycling in Sheffield it would be absolutely brilliant with zero complaints.

  • Polly 5th October 2010

    Thanks Franscisca. I only wish my photos were as good! As for the recycling, I don’t have a problem with it, especially as I am the one mainly for recycling everything. The problem for some is the four different coloured wheelie bins. We have space to store them, but they are a bit of an eyesore for those who have to leave them outside the front of their houses.

    As for the header, I did the images to incorporate my parrot, but the effects are done with Banner Rotator from FlashXML. ( It’s a free plugin for Wordpress and others and you can pay $12 to remove their logo. It is effective though.

  • Polly 6th October 2010

    You’re right YP — why won’t they taken the plastic tops when they’ll take potentially explosive aerosols in the same bin? Shouldn’t the tops be recyclable too? And if not, shouldn’t someone be giving the plastic bottle manufacturers a clip round the ear?


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