Friday 11 May 2018

Screech cycling


Recycling a noble idea? Helping to save the planet without resorting to landfill? Reuse. Don’t throw out. Marvellous ideas, in theory.

But why, oh why is recycling so difficult to achieve in our neighbourhood? It takes hours to accomplish every week. Rubbish-strewn streets are now the norm on recycling day. Wildlife turn the recycling bags over and tug at the contents. The gull-proof bags are not gull-proof. The receptacles we are given are inadequate and it’s a strain for the elderly to push, lift or carry overflowing bags out for the recycling collection team. Of course it’s a good idea to use recycled plastic, paper, glass and card goods - but the strain is on the householder. Not the manufacturer, nor the supermarket chains, it seems. And our council-given receptacles are far from top notch. 

My elderly mother, however, at least had suitable trolleys she could wheel out on a weekly basis. And she didn’t pay for them.

Why can’t we have the same?
A really useful green bin on wheels for garden waste - just drop it in - is about right for us. We pay for it, though, £44 a year. Mum got hers free.

She also had a cardboard and paper only wheelie-bin, ideal - again just tear up cardboard packaging and push it in. No piles of card hanging around the kitchen waiting for recycling day. No need to fiddle with a velcro-flap on a less-than-useful bag (which doesn’t deter foxes, badgers nor gulls). And she had a third trolley for other household items plus bottles and cans - just drop them in. No extra charge.

But here, in one of the richest councils in the country, we grapple with a box for one set of items, an annoying floppy bag for other waste, a ridiculously tiny food waste bin and the rest we put out in our own bags. If things aren’t separated or washed ( in the dishwasher?) a yellow sticker is placed on the waste contents and left on the pavement to be hauled back inside again. 

For days at a time we have bags of metal cans, bags of bottles and another of see-through plastic littering the kitchen.

The answer has to be we’ll have to pay more to buy better recycling receptacles, which take up even more space in the kitchen, just to keep things looking tidy. Like I don’t want the space or money for anything else?

If my mother can have three wheelie bins, free of charge, via a less privileged council than Bath, why can’t we?

I would love to know how the rest of you manage the night before recycling day. We’re not getting it right. Thank goodness my husband doesn’t mind the mess and the sifting - up to a point.After an hour he’ll say ‘no more, not dealing with any more rubbish tonight.’  I resent the hours it takes and the mess it makes. Please give us some adequate recycling bins ...

                 The gulls are having a great time of it.