Recycling is one of the big themes of our age as concerns grow about waste of resources, pollution and climate change. But cash-strapped Shropshire Council wants to remove more than 100 bring banks from car parks and other locations. The council wants to save £230,000 and complains about fly-tipping and use of the bring banks by businesses. Today is the last day to comment.
The council is scoring a home goal with its proposals. The government’s new Resources and Waste Strategy aims to boost recycling. Shropshire Council aims to go in the opposite direction. It doesn’t seem to have recycling as a priority any more.
The council says that bring bank usage has fallen and that people can use kerbside recycling. Usage has fallen but only by 17% over five years. Each bring bank collects more than 22 tonnes of recyclables every year. That’s around 6% of household dry recyclables collected by Veolia.
After I pointed out the council has no data no fly-tipping, Veolia are noting incidents. This will include Christmas and New Year, highpoints for fly-tipping so the data will be distorted.
People use bring banks for a reason. Those that live in apartments often don’t have anywhere to store the recyclables. Other households don’t have enough space to store the aftermath of a jolly good party or even daily life. Some people will be going on holiday and want to ensure everything is in the system first.
The council could do more to stop fly-tipping. It could put up warning signs but it hasn’t. There is a problem with the wrong material going in the wrong bin. But Shropshire Council doesn’t tell you that cardboard can’t be put in the recycling bins for paper.
The future of charity bring banks on Shropshire Council sites is unclear. I suspect the council will want the space for car parking.
Please comment if you can.