Thursday, 28 June 2012

Recycling in style

I have to confess when my friend and colleague Cllr Lynn Riley announced the details of the new CWaC household waste collection and recycling contract about a year ago I was not immediately enthusiastic.  After all in old Vale Royal we had a well functioning and well respected bi-weekly collection service with pretty good recycling figures.  More importantly, at home, I understood it, and was happy enough to segregate materials.

I was worried, in particular by two aspects of the new scheme - first that the volume of the residual waste bin would shrink to 180l from 240l and that we would have a weekly collection of food waste from a kitchen caddy.  I was told I would be recycling more - so that the pressure on the residual waste stream would reduce.  I also struggled to see how weekly collections could be justified on the basis of the likely increased cost for such collections and the environmental dis-benefits of running additional vehicle miles.  After all the bi-weekly collections had worked very well.

So the new collection regime has started.  I'm getting used to using my existing containers for other purposes and seeing the kitchen caddy - in the kitchen!

What I have noticed - and Lynn you were right - is that I'm putting much less in residual waste - I'm diverting more materials into recycling - even if I do ponder about using fresh drinking water to washout receptacles for recycling.

Even in the muggy weather we have been having - and the gutting many fish - the kitchen caddy hasn't been smelling at all.

One problem I have witnessed so far came on Monday when I was driving down Howey Lane and saw the traffic held up whilst a collection vehicle was being filled.  One of the operators was sorting the waste standing in the middle of the road.  By doing this the entire road was effectively blocked.  I hope this is just a teething problem.  I'm told the contract requires the sorting to take place at the kerb-side - not in the middle of the road.  Also it is not the wisest timetabling to have a large vehicle in Howey Lane during rush hour leaving aside the very proper concerns for health and safety that arises from sorting waste in the middle of the road!

So well done Lynn, the officers involved and the new contractor.  Our recycling rates will greatly increase as a Borough.  The cost savings in the new contract are truly staggering over its life time.  It only took me a week to come to grips with what went where.  If I can do it - so can everyone else!

Update - where do I put the Pringles tube does it go with the metal or cardboard?