Wash and Squash!

That was the title of an article in the latest edition of a local freebie newspaper that pops un-requested through my letterbox every week. The article was announcing a new carton recycling scheme launched by our local Council. Wonderful I hear you say. But is it? I am all for doing my bit to save the planet and actually did a Podcast about my selection of bins for various forms of recycling and waste disposal back in January this year. At last count I had a compost bin in the garden, 3 bins of the wheelie variety and a box, all of them emptied at the kerbside. General waste (for landfill) is emptied each week, while the garden waste bin and recyclable box for glass, plastic etc are fortnightly and the paper bin is every six weeks.

Back to June 1999 a small number of Council representatives in Northern Ireland agreed on the merits of a partnership approach to the development of a Waste Management Plan to comply with Article 23 of the Waste and Contaminated Land Order 1997. By 2000, 11 Councils joined together to form the Eastern Region Waste Management Group and embark on the collaborative initiative known as arc21.

Is it another quango I wonder?

The Draft Waste Management Plan was issued for public consultation in February 2002. It considered the different waste options in detail and proposed a solution for managing waste until 2020. All eleven of the ‘arc21’ constituent Councils adopted the Plan by January 2003.

This new initiative is for paper-based cartons used for milk, fruit juices and other liquids. According to the article, after collection these items can be recycled into a number of different products, ranging from plasterboard liner to high-strength paper bags and envelopes.

The recycling Manager for the Council reminds us that “This new scheme will allow ‘us’(Councils) to further increase our recycling rates and hopefully encourage more people to take a sustained interest in recycling as a way of life.” No mention of the kick up the tail-end that all UK Councils received from the EU about improving the figures! Presently just over 70% of all household waste goes directly to landfill sites.

So the new initiative is all very good, but it is not to be part of the kerbside collections. I have a total of FOUR bin Lorries calling into the cul-de-sac to empty bins from my driveway. FOUR bin Lorries, belching out fumes to dissolve the ozone layer even more and now because they have come up with this great idea, I have to get into my little car and tootle along to my nearest Recycling and Civic Amenity Site with my washed and squashed Tetra type packs.

Using an average of one a week I now have to find a way to store them until I have a decent bundle or bag full to dispose of.

Do you think I should use a plastic bag to store them in?


14 thoughts on “Wash and Squash!

  1. Here in the deep south they are planning to meter our water within the next few years. All business premises here hvae already had theirs installed so that you will be charged for washing out your empty milk carton too for wasting water!

  2. Robert Our Water Rates start in 2008. So I will pay twice to keep the Council’s recycling figures up – water to wash the cartons and fuel to get to the Recycling and Civic Amenity Site! All this on a £3.00 rise in pension in April!

    Do you think if I wrote to Bertie, he might send a few bob to a poor emigrant?

  3. We are gone so insane on this whole business GM. The source – the manufacturer- is let off scot free. The packaging has to STOP. It is not disposable anywhere. The consumers wind up paying again and again for the sins of the manufacturer. What the hell happened to paper and glass? Now it is plasticized cardboard and endless plastic bottles. No one is addressing the real issues. and using YOUR precious water at YOUR cost to clean up? Puh-leeze! I say using our own containers and our own bags in bulk stores is the answer.

  4. WWW shopping bags are fine but can you imagine the Healthy & Safety folk just waiting to pounce on the little customer if we tried to use our own containers!

  5. It’s funny you should put up this post when today I had to drive to get rid of my plastic bottles (not collected from the house with the other recycling) I too was thinking about how much it had cost me to do this, both in time, money and effort!

  6. Chris the whole recycling thing is becoming a farce as far as I am concerned. One Council says this while another says that.

    Elly has a recycling bin and as far as I can see it takes everything recylable.

    I have been doing my bit for years and was rather amused that a member of the local Council living three doors from me did nothing. He also had a dog that he was happy to let foul the pavement and not clear up.

  7. Grannymar,

    One of the naughtier bloggers down here, (maybe Bock?), suggested one time that the problems of waste charges could be solved by handing all waste to a certain minority group who seem to generate a lot of waste and never have anything to pay.

  8. IT’s a tough one Granny and I agree to some extent with Wisewebwoman that the onus is always upon the consumer. We have a green bag system but using our own containers is only available through some bulk detergent outlets.

    We have paid for water for ever by the way but it does make us conscious of usage. Water restrictions are now permanently in force in NSW and grey water recycling schemes part of every new development.

    The four trucks is a bit of overkill. We have the same system with 2 trucks but each is partitioned to take recyclable and putrifactious waste. It’s the 5am bashing down the street I object to more than the trucks!

    We still need to go to the source and vastly reduce the amount of packaging utilised by manufacturers but action starts with individuals.

  9. Baino, I am not against recycling I was doing my bit long before the Council hopped on the Band Wagon. We pay ‘Rates’ here every year. Part of it is based on Household Valuation and the other part is set by the Council to cover water, street lighting and cleaning and of course the Emergency Services.

    My bug bear is that Gordon Brown & Co wanted to introduce Water Rates throughout the UK and We of course were lumped in with that. The new Water Rater awere more than and on TOP or the normal rates. We had a reprieve thanks to The ‘Smilers’ who run NI Assembly.

    We will have to start paying in 2008 and my main bug bear is that my water rates will be the same as the family next door and the one around the corner with three or four children using multiple showers and washing machines and dishwashers several times a day!

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