Should recycling be made easier?

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  • Just occasionally the House of Lords come up with good ideas and yesterday was one of those days when they had a debate about recycling, some of which can be seen here.


    One of the ideas was that recycling methods should be standardised across the country. Some areas might use a green bin for plastic, others might use a red bin, my area uses orange sacks. A lady lord said it should all be the same all across the country, I agree with her.


    The minster suggested a return and reward scheme, so if you return plastic bottles back to a shop, you get some money back. Sounds good to me. When my dad was a kid he used to collect bottles, bits of metal from various houses and would get money for them when he sold them on. Kids have it too easy now, they should work a little bit and perhaps collect plastic and glass bottles for a return and reward scheme.


    Other Lords said that what can and cannot be recycled is Confucius, ie black plastic cannot be recycled and neither can the plastic that surrounds many magazines and the Lords went on to suggest that only recyclable materials should be used.


    So, should recycling be easier? What should be done? Do you recycle, or do you bin everything? (Go on, admit it if you do!:))

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  • We have three bins a blue one for paper, card, plastic and tin cans etc. brown one for garden, kitchen and food waste, and green for everything else, seems a bit of a contradiction that the green one is actually used for stuff that probably ends up in landfill, but apart from that it's pretty straight forward and easy, so I don't know if it could actually be made easier.


    What color bins or whatever are used is decided at local level, a standardized system would make sense, but you know what some of the egos on local councils are like they do like to do their own thing just because they can.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • We recycle as much as possible. It helps that the recycleables are all in one wheelie bin (blue lid) and the rest of the trash in another.


    Also the range of recyclables that the council collect is quite extensive including foil food trays and plastic punnets. I thought we (the council) did quite well until I looked at who did better:


    Recycle league table

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • There is a depot in my area that can pretty much recycle everything. So, does the council use it? Nope!


    We have orange (plastic!) sacks for plastic bottles, paper/cardboard and food tins. That's it, and those get picked up weekly by the council along with the normal rubbish.. Additionally, I pay extra to the council for a green wheelie bin which is for garden waste (vegetable peelings are not allowed) and that gets collected every two weeks.

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  • Recycle league table

    I wasn't going to mention this as it could derail the thread...;)but the Lords also made mention of who are the best and worst areas for recycling in the country. No surprise that the inner London boroughs like Newham only recycle 14%. The Lords put this down to lack of education by the council on what facilities there are. I think there is another explanation...

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  • We also have a local depot where you can take larger things to recycle like TVs and washing machines so from the point of collecting the stuff I think we're quite well provided for. It's the packaging industry that doesn't help by using plastics that are not easy/possible to recycle and mixing them up in one product. An example being plastic bottles (recycleable) with plastic labels (non-recycleable) instead of paper ones.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • In my area the council has a waste recycling centre too formerly called The Dump, which used to be purely for rubbish.


    Pretty much anything can recycled there including white goods like TVs, wood, all metals, most plastics. You can also take paint, oil, batteries and many other things besides. It's just the council's home collection service that is somewhat lacking at the moment.

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  • We have four bins, the green plus one of the others in rotation which are then emptied each Friday.

    Green for all our food waste, and for £35per year extra we can also add all our garden waste.

    Black, for plastics that have contained edible liquids, tetra packs and glass.

    Blue, for all types of paper.

    Grey. this is a half size bin and it is for anything that can not be recycled.


    We also have a council lorry that picks up any larger items left out with the bins though most people seem to take bigger stuff to the general tip where things such as wood, metal and anything salvageable are sorted out to be recycled.


    The quantity of bins can be a pain on roads where there is no space to either store them or leave them on narrow footpaths on collection day but we are lucky as we have plenty of space to hide them away and have exceptionally wide pavements.

  • Oh, bloody hell, hope that doesn't happen here. Too much faffing around for me!


    Why can't someone just invent a wheelie bin with different compartments, so that you can put different stuff in different sections?


    We have black sacks for normal rubbish and orange sacks for recycled stuff, that's plenty. Plus, the optional green wheelie bin for garden waste. Any more complicated than that and the locals around my area would require a PhD.:)

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  • Ours may sound complicated but once you get the hang of it there are no problems. As I drive around my area you see the bins out side every house so people must be able to cope. The only real gripe we all have is that Trafford has not yet found a recycling firm that can handle all plastics and polystyrene.

  • As I said, in my area we have a company that can recycle everything, but for whatever reason, the council here chooses not to use them, so, not much gets recycled.

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  • It was bin day in my area today and it was quite bizarre, for more that one reason.


    Our normal rubbish in black sacks and orange recycling sacks are collected by the same bin lorry, but they use separate compartments for the recycling and waste. But today two separate vehicles came. One collected the normal rubbish and the other the recycled stuff.


    It was also green bin today today too. The garden waste is only collected every two weeks, so a separate bin lorry came to empty the green wheelie bins.


    To top of the oddness, one of the vehicles spoke!


    For some time, its been a law that lorries must make some kind of audible noise, a bleep or something, when the vehicle is reversing. Well, this one spoke! Never heard that before. It said "stand back this vesicle is reversing," it made a couple of beeps, them repeated the message. But the odd bit was the "voice" of the bin lorry. I thought I was in a episode of the BBC's "Are you being served?".... The voice sounded exactly like John Inman.


    So, three bin lorries and one of them very camp at that.


    Beat that, folks!


    8)

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  • Tommy the tank engine returns, as a bin lorry!

    The vagabond who's rapping at your door

    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

  • Are you sure it was a 'bleep' Horizon.?.....if it was a ''human' voice, it may have been a burp..........but then, that should have been followed by a "pardon me" I guess!

  • The other thing that just occurred to me with having 3 bin lorries yesterday all belching their diesel fumes into the air, how is that good for the environment?


    I assume next week it will be back to the one bin lorry, as its a non-green bin week.

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  • The government is to consider whether to introduce a "reward and return" scheme for plastic bottles to try to improve recycling rates.


    Environment Secretary Michael Gove appealed for views on how such a system might work in England.

    I see Michael Gove is settling into his new role as Environment secretary with these ideas...:rolleyes:


    I already take glass bottles to a bottle bank, I'm not sure I could be arsed with having to take plastic bottles too, even if there were a "benefit" of getting a few pennies back.

    I especially dislike the idea of a levy on drinks which use plastic bottles as a way to pay for this scheme and to try and nudge people to take the bottles to a machine to get your pennies back.


    I stick my plastic bottles in a council supplied recycling sack that is collected weekly, as I'm sure others do too (or wheelie bins) is this a step too far?


    Would you take your empty plastic bottles to a bottle bank/machine to get a refund of a few pennies?

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  • It wouldn't make economic sense to take them to a bottle bank/machine for a few pennies and probably cost more in petrol than you'd get back.

    I think the only way is to provide collection points and rely on people to use them.


    Years ago when kids only got about 1 shilling a week pocket money and you could get 2d returning an empty lemonade bottle or Dad's empties, a deposit scheme was fine. I don't see how it's workable nowadays.

  • And that was glass Morgan, this is plastic. Seems a waste of time to me too.


    I think Gove is trying to think of what to do in his new role. I have a suggestion for him.... perhaps if he ensured measures are in place in case of future flooding, that could be one thing he could concentrate on...

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  • Morgan makes a good point. The pollution caused by taking a small amount of recyclable materials would outweigh the benefits.


    I like the recycle bin which is collected fortnightly, and we are diligent with recycling, but many people can't be bothered and stick it all in the normal waste bin (one of our neighbours does this and the bin overflows and rubbish often blows into our drive - a very sore point).


    We have 3 compost bins in the garden, and everything possible goes in there, including the teabags. We use degradable bin liners now, but they aren't very strong so care needed. We still use the normal ones but line them with the degradable ones and hope they hold when lifted out.


    I tend to struggle with recycling. There isn't any clear cut guidance, as different councils have different standards. What can be recycled in one area isn't always recyclable in another.

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'

  • True. With my council, you can recycle some plastics but not others. Oddly, in my area there is the largest plastic recycling centre in the country, but my local council doesn't use it...:rolleyes:


    Since my earlier comments, I have now warmed (albeit lukewarm) to this idea and I think the government is going ahead with it. Need to check, as I didn't keep this thread updated.


    But Morgan's comments are still valid and I'd like to see the government response to that.

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  • We have a single wheelie bin for recycleable stuff and the council take a wide range of stuff from the usual tin cans and glass / plastic bottles to tin foil and those plastic punnets that fruit, meat etc come in.


    It's more convenient than returning plastic bottles to a central point so unless the deposit was substantial I can't see it working myself.


    Mind you if some enterprising kid(s) were to set up a regular house-to-house collection scheme to earn pocket money that might work. Might even tackle the obesity chrisis in our children.:/

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Now I've remembered to how use the search function here after my dizzy spell yesterday (:whistling:), came across this thread:


    Should recycling be made easier?


    So, I'm going to merge this one into there and pick up the discussion from then.

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  • Ok, done.


    At the top of this thread, was actually a good suggestion by the Lords to standardise council recycling schemes. In light of the ever increasing pressure to clamp down on plastic waste, why hasn't this happened?

    We have a single wheelie bin for recycleable stuff and the council take a wide range of stuff from the usual tin cans and glass / plastic bottles to tin foil and those plastic punnets that fruit, meat etc come in.


    It's more convenient than returning plastic bottles to a central point so unless the deposit was substantial I can't see it working myself.


    Mind you if some enterprising kid(s) were to set up a regular house-to-house collection scheme to earn pocket money that might work. Might even tackle the obesity chrisis in our children.:/

    And now that I've merged the thread into the original one, we can see our previous comments on this.


    My council is still poor as compared to yours and others on the house-to-house recycling front. We still have the orange sacks and there isn't much you can put in them.

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  • There is a list here of all the recycled stuff that can be put in the wheelie bin. As you can see they take almost anything. There is a sorting station that automatically separates the recyclables into their respective types. Just down the road from me is the municiple dump and recycle depot for larger items like TVs and whitegoods. Free for the residents.


    The bonus of the two councils harmonising their waste management as well as many back office functions is that we still have weekly refuse collection. Recyclables are fortnightly and the same day as refuse.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Here is what my council will recycle. As you will see, it's somewhat smaller than your list.


    Harmonising council services is a "bi"t of a thorny issue for my area. London currently has thirty two London boroughs, but on the sneak, they are gradually being merged into a New York style five borough system. My borough already shares many council services with the other North East London boroughs. We also don't have own police commander any-more, as those functions get merged too. NHS services were already merged into the "local" North East London area ages ago. Anyway, I digress.:)

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  • Waste plan floats bottle deposit scheme

    Consumers will have to pay a returnable deposit on bottles, cans and disposable cups under a new government strategy.

    Homes in England will be provided by councils with separate collections for food waste.

    Recycling will be made less confusing for households, and manufacturers will need to foot the cost of disposing of the goods they produce.

    Related thread here: Should plastic be banned?


    Michael Gove's plastic bottle deposit scheme is to be implemented and we are all to get food caddies too, so thinks are ramping up in the recycling front, finally!

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  • We rarely have any food waste and offcuts, peelings etc go in our composters. I'm in two minds about deposits on containers and bottles mainly because at the moment we have effective recycling collection and processing by our council with a single blue wheelie bin that you put the recyclables in and then a grey one for everything else. Getting a deposit back is an extra task.


    Here's an opportunity though for some enterprising kids to organise a regular wheelbarrow collection and they get the deposits back as pocket money.:/

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Recycling is a pain in the backside. I check the packaging of everything and if it says recyclable then I put it in the recycle bin, but our wise local council doesn't recycle all recyclables and refuse to empty the bin. I am supposed to check the council list as to what they can recycle. It doesn't help, so I chuck a lot in the normal bin that could be recycled, but isn't.


    EDIT: we put veggie waste, teabags, shredded paper, and everything else that is compostable in our compost bins.

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'