On Thursday 30th January, the Conservatives once again showed their true, narrow-minded, partisan colours by following the party whip to reject a modest proposal to improve recycling in South Kesteven. It’s pathetic that despite their empty rhetoric about putting politics aside, and caring about the Climate Emergency, South Kesteven Tories couldn’t bring themselves to support an opposition motion aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
I had submitted a motion to the Full Council meeting suggesting that charitable organisations be given permission to put just four textile recycling banks on Council-owned sites across the District. This would generate a financial income for the council and the charity, it would give people additional places to donate old clothes and shoes to charity and it would reduce contamination in the silver wheelie bins (currently around 30%).
Recycling efforts in South Kesteven are being undermined by increasing levels of contamination of the weekly silver bin recycling system. Recently released figures reveal that, since 2016, contamination rates have gradually increased from 20% to over 30% meaning that almost a third of so-called ‘recycling’ ends up in landfill.
There are a number of factors causing the contamination including:
At last week’s SKDC Environment Overview and Scrutiny (OSC) Committee, a discussion took place relating to the food waste pilot scheme currently being run by SKDC in partnership with LCC.
One of the positive outcomes of the scheme appears to be a reduction in contamination of the recycling materials in the silver (recycling) bins. At previous meetings it has been reported that there is over 30% contamination meaning that an awful lot of what is recyclable is being sent to landfill as a result of people putting stuff in the wrong bin.
I used to work as a recycling officer at Gedling Borough Council but that was back in the 1990s and lots of things have changed since then, so I asked, not for the first time, for clarification of which plastics are welcome in the silver bin and which should go in the black bin. Continue reading →
Not very long ago, one of my constituents had her green bin refused because it had an onion in it and I had to go and investigate why.
After speaking to SKDC, then LCC, then the recycling plant at Langar, I finally got a clear answer from WRAP.
To save your phone bill and all the tedium of doing this yourself, I’ll tell you that, in the eyes of the Food Hygiene industry, anything that has been into a kitchen could theoretically have been in contact with a chopping board or knife infected by rotten meat or E-coli or whatever. As no-one can tell whether a particular apple has visited a kitchen we have to assume they are all dangerous.
It sounds ridiculous but it is the law and, like any organisation, South Kesteven always has to abide by the law.
The best thing to do with uncooked fruit is to put it on your compost heap.
There’s no such thing as waste; only stuff in the wrong place!
Lincolnshire County Council is currently conducting a two-month consultation on the JOINT MUNICIPAL WASTE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY for the County. For convenience, the waste strategy is abbreviated to the catchy acronym of JMWMS. Unfortunately, the consultation concludes next Monday 2nd July so if you want to participate you will need to get your skates on.
For many people, the most important value, vision and target of a County-wide municipal waste strategy can be summarised as “Make sure my bins get emptied every Thursday” but the consultation assumes all consultees will be diligent in reading the various documents associated with the Draft JMWMS (a summary is available) and the Environmental Report, The first is 54 pages long (or 66 including appendices) while the latter is a technical document of 38 pages (or 116 including appendices).
I have already submitted my response. If you want to use my answers to inform your own response you are most welcome. I have already shared them with SKDC who apparently considered them as part of their workshop on the issue. (This was a another closed Members’ workshop without any external invitees. It was attended by three councillors and a few council officers. The response drafted by the workshop has been circulated to other members of the Enviroment OSC but will not be published in any committee report).