Left at Temple Meads

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Spys in the Bin

with 5 comments

I see that Cllr Hopkins Bristol’s new Waste King has been putting forward the Lib Dem vision for recycling in the city.
Firstly let me say that there is an issue with the recycling rates in the city. They appeared to have plateaued around the 35 – 37% mark.
In response Cllr Hopkin’s big ideas are:
1.  Free starch bags for the masses so that they can more easily recycle food waste.
2. A door knocking campaign to pressure people to recycle
3. A ‘voluntary scheme’ to weigh the amount of residual waste and reward those who produce less.
I fail to see how giving someone a free bag to put food waste in will encourage anyone to start recycling food. If they are not in the habit of putting the food in a brown bin they are hardly likely to do so because it is lined with paper.
Door knocking campaigns can work but the evidence is that they stop working as soon as you stop knocking on the doors.
The voluntary scheme to weigh the amount of residual waste is fascinating. Who does Cllr Hopkins think is going to volunteer? The only people who will take part in a voluntary scheme will be those who already recycle. Make no mistake what Cllr Hopkins would like to do, but wasn’t got the nerve, is to put spys in the bin and fine those who do not recycle.
What would the Labour party have done? Well as Cllr Hopkins will know, if he has been briefed by officers, we would have taken a more radical approach. We would have changed the bin collection scheme so that all recycling, including all plastics, would have been collected on the door step in a new service which would have removed the need to segregate tins, from bottles, from cardboard, from paper.
I make a prediction; within the next few month Cllr Hopkins will announce this idea as his and the Lib Dems brand new strategy for dealing with waste, because when it comes to waste Cllr Hopkins (and his Tory supporters) have no ideas and no strategy other than dumping it in landfill.

Written by terryrobc

March 6, 2009 at 7:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. We used to have plastics recycling bins on our estate. The service was withdrawn – during a Labour administration! Go figure.


    March 6, 2009 at 9:54 am

  2. I, personally, think that free bin bags for the food waste bins are a very good idea. I’ve hunted over half the city for suitable bags and haven’t found any; and my food waste bin gets horribly messy and mouldy inside, partly because the bin men never seem to empty it properly. I don’t really blame them: because the contents are wet, it’s not surprising that lots sticks to the bottom of the bin from week to week and goes mouldy. However, I’m already a committed recycler. Whether the dirty bin issue is stopping other people from recycling is another matter entirely.

    Forest Pines

    March 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm

  3. Forest Pines. I agree that using the bags is a very good idea, but my point is, as you acknowledged, that I am not convinced that offering them will increase the recycling rate.

    There are bags available in the city. I certainly have bought them from the Riverside Garden Centre in Southville.


    March 7, 2009 at 6:24 am

  4. Thanks for the tip! It’s not somewhere we’d ever think to normally go, though, not having a garden. They need to be more widely available.

    Forest Pines

    March 7, 2009 at 11:22 am

  5. Terry putting bags in the food waste will increase the recycling rate – as the bags weigh something, if everyone who currently participates in the food waste collections also adds a starch bag, the weight of the waste increases – however all of this weight increase is added to the recycling figure – its genius really. Other ways to increase recycling would be to give everyone who uses the black box an extra glass bottle every week to put in it. Mathematics is beautiful

    Paul Smith

    March 7, 2009 at 9:13 pm

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