How many miles does it take to recycle a light bulb? 17.5 miles if you live in Ludlow. It’s not a bright idea

If you want to know how badly recycling policy is failing here in Shropshire, just take a look at what you have to do in Ludlow to recycle a humble energy efficient light bulb.

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A Ludlow resident asked a question on this blog today: where can light bulbs be recycled locally? The short answer is that they can’t be recycled locally since Coder Road closed. I asked the @ShropshireWaste team on twitter and they said:

tweet_on_recycling_light_bulbsAlmost no one from Ludlow will take their light bulbs to Craven Arms. It is at best a 15 minute trip each way by car to the recycling centre there. It is a 17.5 miles return journey. Few of us have enough space to store recyclables or waste for long.

Most bulbs will go in the black bin along with their mercury and recyclable materials.

Sadly, too many recyclables and non-recyclables are fly-tipped.

Since Coder Road closed we are seeing a lot of fly-tipping. This mattress was dumped off Sheet Road on last Saturday night or Sunday morning. Shropshire Council today instructed its contractors to collect it.

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I am not justifying fly-tipping. I hate it. But perhaps the perpetrators of this crime couldn’t afford the £29 they will currently have to pay Shropshire Council for items they used to be able to drop off at Coder Road. Or perhaps they were intending to take it by bus to Craven Arms, but suddenly realised we don’t have buses on Sunday.

This one of my earlier sketches for a ‘rubbish bus’:

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Once again the @ShropshireWaste team gives its verdict on the idea:

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Another one bites the dust… And by the way, you can’t deliver recycling or waste on foot to Craven Arms, or on a cycle either. It’s purely an experience for the car driver.

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But of course, you can’t take a light bulb to a mini recycling site, you have to take it to Craven Arms. But not on a bike, by bus or on foot. This is nonsense.

We used to have decent recycling facilities here in Ludlow. But we were never told that fly-tipping had soared by 47% in Shropshire before our local tip and recycling centre at Coder Road was closed against overwhelming local opposition.

We live in a town that loves to recycle even when we are partying, but none of us expected that we’d end up taking lower energy light bulbs to Craven Arms. That’s not a bright idea.

Ludlow should become a zero waste town with zero tolerance of Shropshire Council policies that demand we have to go on a 17.5 miles a time to recycle light bulbs.