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We're running a Soapbox piece this week which echoes the sentiment I've often expressed in these Leaders: the need for consistency when it comes to our recycling abilities and procedures and better labelling so we can easily see what can and cannot be recycled.
I say abilities because I'm aware that what can be recycled in some areas cannot be recycled in others; something I find most odd. Procedures? Well, one might be forgiven for thinking that councils have banded together to make kerbside collection procedures as confusing as possible for residents who move house, for short-term visitors or those who perhaps, have to take responsibility for sorting someone else's waste in a different borough - such as carers, for example. Some councils allow a combination of paper and card, some like white paper separated out, some let you add cans to the mix while others like cans and glass jars/bottles together but separated from paper and card. Business waste seems to be treated completely differently from household waste even within the same borough. Even if it were to be treated the same, a workforce comprising staff from other boroughs would create sorting errors because of the current inconsistencies. Is it like this in other countries I wonder or is it just a UK thing?
I'm drawing attention to this Soapbox piece because when John and I set up Cleanzine some 18 years ago I was working with the UK's local authority group the Association of Building Cleaning Direct Service Providers and was given permission to use the database to build our circulation (long before the Data Protection Act!). I'm hoping that every one of these people will read the piece. Obviously our readership has been regularly updated to reflect changes and I know we have most, if not all, of the UK's local authorities on our circulation as well as huge numbers carrying out similar roles in the 163 countries in which Cleanzine is received. This is of concern to all of you as well as people like me who are affected by any decisions made.
One of the things the ABCD was so good at was sharing best practice and warning of things that hadn't worked well. And while I'm delighted that EU Circular Economy Legislation is being transposed into UK law, the way we tackle waste is such an important subject that we all need to work together on this. We must share ideas, best practice and procedures as much as we can on a global level, rather than just locally. Don't you agree?
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5th September 2019