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I’d thought there may be trouble ahead some time ago, when in carrying out research, I realised that several councils were considering ways of cutting back on the costs of running their civic amenity tips. A subsequent questionnaire from my local county council – Surrey, made me realise that this was probably a national initiative.
I was pleased we were being asked (as were local residents in other parts of the country) for our input on cost-cutting options and I wrote about it in Cleanzine. What I didn’t expect was to be flummoxed at the ridiculous solution that (apparently) my neighbours came up with…
Cutting the tip’s opening hours so it’s closed every evening at 16:00 and allowing each household to freely unload just one bag of waste on each visit!
I kid you not!
What’s going to happen to the potentially recyclable waste produced by households whose adults are at their workplaces until 17:00 (the ‘norm’ in this country)? Will these people now spend great chunks of their Saturdays, queuing with others who work throughout the week, to unload just one bag of waste, only to perhaps have to queue again on Sunday, so they can unload a second bag?
We’re talking here about an amenity tip at which a man died a few years back following an altercation caused by queue jumping – and this was when the tip was open until 20:00 during Summer (apart from Sundays) so I’m not exaggerating about the queues!
No – what these previously recycling-conscientious householders are going to start doing, is slipping things into their waste bins that they would normally have recycled, because their local council has simply made it too difficult to ‘do the right thing’.
I know this to be the case because I’ve done it myself – and I’m not a reluctant recycler but a recycling ‘nut’ who’s been recycling, through choice, for decades.
So – extra things in the general waste and thus more to landfill – plus, no doubt, more fly-tipping… leading to higher costs for waste removal, waste sorting and landfill taxes and thus probably no savings at all. Not to mention the extra pollution caused by all those cars queuing for the tip more frequently, with things that can’t be slipped into the general waste bin…
Waste – and what to do with it – is a global problem. What works (or doesn’t work) in your neck of the woods please?
experiences of them.
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8th September 2016