Recycling – which is it?

Recycling sign on wheelie bin the Blackheath from Greenwich council

Initially I thought it was a “Do Not Disturb” sign on our wheelie bin.  Our flats have been marked out.  We are officially warned.  Someone has been putting the wrong rubbish in the wrong bins.  It wasn’t me or Mrs Bugle, I swear, honest…  I’m just wondering if they will start daubing our front doors with paint next.

But the photograph above does throw up an interesting point. Looking at all the blogs around here, you’d think it would be easy to draw a conclusion about how our recycling schemes are going.  The Phantom had a great piece about how the Greenwich Recycling plant works, but then I read in The Last Bus Home that it might not be so great after all. They quote another post by a Lib-Dem councillor who makes the point that the government sets recycling targets by the tonne, not by the quality of the recycling.

This means that they don’t really care what happens to our glass and paper waste, so long as it doesn’t go into landfill.  So our glass doesn’t get melted down back into glass bottles, it gets turned into road gravel.  And our paper doesn’t get turned back into paper, but gets shipped to Malaysia instead?!

I’m still glad that it isn’t ending up as landfill, but the carbon cost must be as much of a concern as the landfill.

Wouldn’t the pollutants involved in shipping all that paper halfway round the world be worse than just burning it in the first place?

10 Comments

Filed under blackheath, green, politics

10 responses to “Recycling – which is it?

  1. Maisie

    Ah yes the little tags telling us off.

    I would like to know how they expect us to stop this if we live in a block of flats – and the bins are by the main road? Obviously we have to set up sentry duty 24/7 to protect undesirable peoples using our bins.

    Heaven forbid Greenwich Council think of such practicalities!

  2. I’m outside right now, standing guard…

  3. James Parkin

    not only are they threatening to charge us for overfilling bins, but it seems they wont take away underfilled bins either

    we now have food that has been in the green bin for about a month, smells absolutely delightful.

    Think I may wheel it down the local council offices

  4. have you complained, James? “They” won’t even start to get it right until you do.

  5. Maisie

    We have four full sized green bins that are never filled – they are too big. So then we get maggots living in the bins and festering nicely in the heat….

    I never thought I would say this – but thank God I am moving to a Lewisham Council area. Until they screw up the bin collection as well!

  6. J J

    The trouble with the people’s republic of Greenwich is quite simple.
    They never think things through.

    It seems like a good idea, go for it.
    Don’t bother worrying about the practicalities.

  7. It’s still good that they’re moving towards recycling, even if it isn’t working brilliantly yet – loads of councils aren’t doing anything like this yet.

  8. CS

    Ah yes but Maisie I live in a Lewisham Council area and there doesn’t seem to be provision for recycling at all, with the exception of the 4 huge overflowing ‘recycling’ bins outside the library. Which is surely cross-contaminated from the bags of general waste that end up in there. I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up straight in landfill without even so much as a backwards glance towards a recycling/sorting place. It really is a pain as we have glass (separated of course) and paper stacked up in our storage cupboard ready to take to the supermarket recycling centres which is all very well but doesn’t sort out food waste. Perhaps we Lewisham council dwellers should buddy up with Greenwich council dwellers to ensure that the bins are full to the brim with recyclable waste!

  9. … But then wouldn’t you be sued for flytipping?

  10. Alex

    I’ve lived in two different properties in Lewisham and we have recycling – although quite what they do with it is anyone’s guess (it all goes into one big bin).

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