Love The Area But Recycling Is Rubbish

I READ your article Waste Plan Review Call with great interest. I moved to this area from Surrey just a few months ago and while I generally love the area I am sorely disappointed with the recycling facilities. I cannot believe that at a time when there

I READ your article Waste Plan Review Call with great interest. I moved to this area from Surrey just a few months ago and while I generally love the area I am sorely disappointed with the recycling facilities.

I cannot believe that at a time when there is a nationwide call to significantly reduce the excessive use of plastic bags, including some stores charging for bags (proceeds to charity), we are required to separate our recycling into plastic bags! Paper, cans, glass and plastic each requiring their own bag. Admittedly, the bags are supplied for plastic bottles- although they are so huge I would probably only need four a year.

In Surrey, we were provided with two boxes; one for paper (loose sheets, flattened cardboard... not in bags) and the second for all other recyclables; cans, bottles, foil trays, plastics - tubs, containers as well as bottles. These would duly be sorted into the appropriate bins on the recycle truck, a process which took maybe five seconds longer than taking the individual bags and emptying them. What do they do with all the plastic bags they are left with at the end of each day?

And so to my biggest gripe. Garden waste. I was provided with one brown paper bag, the mouth of which is too small to be of any use. Being paper the bags rip if you put any branches into them and although I only have a small garden the bag is too small to fit all the mowings. Being paper they also rip when they get wet, which being garden material in Britain it's hardly surprising it gets wet. Once you have a ripped bag it is no longer taken by the recycling people, nor is it replaced. In Surrey we were provided with two large open bags. These were plastic, so the did not disintegrate in the rain and were reusable, year after year. There was a charge for this service, but I was more than happy to pay £10 per year to have all my garden waste removed.

The main difference I have noticed is the attitude. Rather than a willingness to recycle as much as possible, the recycling company here make it so difficult that even people eager to recycle give up. So far I have had to dispose of a large pile of cardboard boxes (they do not fit in plastic bags) a bag full of paper and cardboard (which I have no idea why they refused to take week after week) and my only paper bag for garden waste. Fortunately the men collecting the household refuse are more helpful.

NATALIE ROSS-SMITH

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Chapel Lane

Wicken

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