Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Checking up on waste

With Bristol's recycling performance lying in 208th place among England's 358 local authorities, it's no wonder that Gary Hopkins (never knowingly avoiding controversy) wants to impose a bit of discipline on us throwaway residents.

At next week's cabinet meeting, he'll be wanting an official blessing for a pilot scheme that threatens punishment for residents who routinely dump recyclable materials in their black (landfill-bound) wheelie bins.

Fair 'nuff. It's a lazy habit that the rest of must pay for - as bad as littering. But I'm sure that the Evening Post, when it eventually spots it, will take its usual populist Daily Mail line and condemn the nanny-state spies who check what you chuck.

Just now, I'm more worried about whether the contractors who get paid handsomely to recycle waste are ever guilty of putting it in landfill instead. After Gea raised this possibility in a comment on a previous post I wrote to council contractors Recresco - twice - but didn't get any response, let alone the reassurance I wanted that plastic waste always does get recycled. Nor did Gary Hopkins - usually happy to add his point of view to this and other blogs - respond to a similar question.

So I'll try to get an answer with some 'Public Forum' questions at next Thursday's Cabinet meeting.

Watch this space.


Forest Pines said...

I wonder how such a scheme would deal with people like my upstairs neighbours, who regularly dump large amounts of recyclable waste in my bin, and leave their own empty.

Pete Goodwin said...

Yes, the papers that the Cabinet is asked to approve are very thin on detail. I expect it will be nodded through, though; then it will be up to Gary Hopkins and the officers to put it into practice, with the Cabinet taking joint responsibility for letting it happen.

There's another item that proposes the replacement of the green 'residuals' bins with bins scaled down according to household size. In practice that does reduce the amount of waste (though you'd think that in practice people would just compact it more, to squeeze it in); but it begs the question of where the remainder goes. You've probably hit on one of the answers.

Forest Pines said...

The council already supplies two different sizes of residuals bins. We have a "standard" one, the neighbours have a "small" one - which isn't big enough for a black sack, hence them putting it all in ours. It doesn't help that they fill their black sacks so full they tear.

Oh well, I'm moving house next week anyway!

Pete Goodwin said...

Gary Hopkins answers now posted in this June 13th blog