Thursday, 5 January 2012

KEEPING FORTNIGHTLY BIN COLLECTIONS

Kent Green Party has already condemned the Government’s allocation of £250 million to re-starting weekly bin collections. Now, it appears all Kent councils are to return to weekly bin collections – at least for food waste - over the next year(1). Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, comments:

“Kent Green Party condemns the Government’s attack on recycling by encouraging councils to re-introduce weekly bin collections. Fortnightly collections have been shown to increase recycling(2). Weekly collections are an anti-recycling measure and should be stopped. Most food waste can be composted, either by the household or by their Council. It should not be sent to landfill or incineration – both problematic ways of dealing with waste. It would cost any district council in Kent about £1 million to re-introduce full weekly collections(3). Recently, South Oxfordshire’s council has reached 71% recycling using fortnightly collections – the best result in the country(4). Kent’s landfill sites are filling up because we are still putting 44 million tonnes into landfill in the UK each year(5), and more recycling will avoid the cost of new landfill sites.

“Importing more raw materials is bad for our balance of payments, our economy and employment: if we recycled more and phased out landfill, as Germany is doing, we could be employing more people in the Waste Management sector. Kent Green Party also wants see councils encourage more re-use, not just recycling and they also need to increase the variety of goods sorted and collected at the kerbside(6).”

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FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, on 01732 355185 or 079444 71083. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe and published by Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. Monthly free ezine KENT GREEN NEWS available for subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org

Notes:

1. BBC Radio Kent 5th January 2012. So far, only Canterbury, Swale and Thanet are operating a fortnightly system of alternating general waste/recycleables collection. Kent Green Party is disturbed that Dover District Council is proposing to charge households for the collection of garden waste (Dover Express, 5.1.2012).

2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/apr/26/localgovernment.localgovernment and the Government has to meet the EU target of 50% of household waste being recycled by 2020, which will be impossible without fortnightly collections and an increased range of goods being collected at kerbsides.

3. Channel 4 Dispatches, 10th October 2011.

4. http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/country-view/council_hits_70pc_recycling_with_fortnightly_bin_collections_1_3702132

5. Dispatches, as above.

6. This increases the return to councils from the collections. Mixed or ‘commingled’ collections do not pay as well and contaminated, mixed bales are rejected by re-using companies, and go to landfill (Dispatches, above). The Campaign for Real Recycling has won a judicial review of the practice of commingling, to be heard in December 2011. Also, most types of food waste can go into a wormery and produce compost. Working example for media photos at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. Contact Hazel Dawe as above to arrange photo op. Plain cardboard can also go into compost. Egg boxes can be returned to Farmers’ Markets for repeated use. Paper can be re-used eg for phone messages/printing on the back within households. Glass jars can be used for pickling and jam. Wine bottles can be used to make elderflower cordial or even wine.

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