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David Goodall

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Recycling

The question many people ask is why all this fuss about rubbish and collection of dustbins. The problem is relevantly simple :-

To combat this answer is also relevantly simply follow the 3Rs of waste management reduce, reuse and recycle :-

For more information on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle see :-

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How to recycle - Alternate Weekly Recycling

For nearly ten years Liberal Democrat run Eastleigh Borough Council has with great success had alternate weekly collections and we knew at the start the result would be increased recycling rates, because this form of waste collection is very old news in most of Europe. Extensive studies have proven that limiting the non-recyclable bin space makes people think more carefully about which bin they replace the rubbish in.

Alternate weekly collections are the obvious way to go when introducing a two bin system. Prior to doorstep recycling collections households had one bin which was emptied once a week, with the introduction of a two bin system the rubbish is split between two bins. Therefore an individual bin will take twice as long to fill up, hence collecting non-recyclable rubbish in collected one week and recyclable rubbish the following week. Anything else involves as least three bin collections in a fortnight and increased staff and vehicle costs as a result.

A recent Local Government Association study suggests that councils who have switched from weekly to fortnightly rubbish collections achieve higher recycling rates of 30% average, compared with 23% for those that had not and currently Eastleigh's rate is about 40%. For information about this see these reports :-

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Why recycle ?

The point many people do not realise is why recycle? Well the obvious one has already been mentioned to reduce the amount of rubbish going into landfill because of the lack of space, but there are two other reasons to increase recycling which are equally as essential they are :-

For more information on this see :-

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What to recycle ?

There are many things that can be recycled. However the provision of recycling plants to process all the materials that can be recycled is at best patchy and in the case of plastic bags almost non-existent in the UK. This lack of recycling facilities clearly hampers what the local authorities such has Eastleigh Borough Council can achieve in the recycling stakes.

However although Eastleigh Borough Council are not able to process all recyclables, such as mixed plastic, they are continually working to find solutions. To this end Eastleigh Borough Council offers a wide selection of recycling opportunities from kerbside collections to an extensive range of bring banks.

To find out more about the range of things that can be recycled in see Eastleigh see :-

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What could be done to increase recycling ?

Well the most obvious things to do are increase the range of materials that can be recycled and make it as easy as possible for people to recycle. The main way to make it easy is to have as much doorstep recycling as possible. One of the strange aspects of the doorstep glass collections is that it has increase greatly the amount of glass been recycled but it has had little effect on the amount of glass been collected at the bottle banks. In general good recycling authorities, like Eastleigh, are continually exploring ways to increase the doorstep collection service; however the limit is always the recycling plant facilities.

So how could government help further to increase the range of doorstep recycling ? Well the Government could do two simple things it could :-

There is a long way to go to reach the recycling levels of our European neighbours but at least the problem is been more widely discussed and at local government level more councils are taking action to increase recycling rates. The real problem is that for years Conservative and Labour governments alike have refused to tackle the waste stream problem with practical measures. Even after other countries like Germany with their "Grüner Punkt" system in 1991 or Ireland with their Plastic bag tax in 2002 have shown better ways to go, for more information on these systems see :-.

An increase in recycling capacity and an environmental reform of the tax system is what is required yet so far neither Conservative or Labour governments have done this the only the main party proposing these vital changes are the Liberal Democrats.

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What are the 'problems' with recycling ?

The alternate weekly collections have been criticised and the three most common complaints are:-

The other complaint that also comes is that elderly and disabled people cannot wheel the wheelie bins out each week, this is true, and this is why Eastleigh Borough Council has the 'Assisted Lift Service' to help people that need it. For more detail on the general service and the Assisted Lift Service see :-

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Conclusion

In our modern consumer society that produces and uses many thousands of products everyday it is inevitable that millions of tonnes of rubbish are produced at the end of the product life cycle. On this small island of ours there is also limited space we can dump this rubbish. Therefore the only way we can go is to recycle so I fully support any measure that increases this rate of collection both at a local, national and international level.

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Related articles :-

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Increased recycling with Side Waste Success

Better recycling and fairer taxes