Are recycling bins littering the UKs streets?

Posted: 28/05/2012

When you think of Cornwall, you think of beautiful, quaint, narrow lanes with small thatched roofed cottages and gardens decorated with vivid, dazzling flowers. However, the reality is the most colourful items in the lanes this year are numerous recycling boxes, bags and bins outside each home.

Cornwall Council forces residents to use six different containers to recycle their household waste. These include paper into blue bags, glass into black plastic boxes, cardboard into orange sacks, garden waste into brown bins and red bags for tin and plastics, not forgetting the usual ‘non-recyclable’ waste bin.

Environmentalist’s state the recycling service that Cornwall Council asks of their residents, where waste is separated into individual containers by residents, saves money and time having the items sorted in a factory. Residents are not happy with the current situation and claim it is spoiling the counties most popular tourist spots and destroying the stunning countryside.

On the Wirral, residents have one grey bin for all recyclable household items and when it’s collected, it gets transported to a factory where special machines separates the items. However, you can face a fine if you put a non-recyclable item into this bin. There's a separate brown bin for garden waste and green bin for non recyclable waste.

On the other end of the scale, Newcastle under-Lyme has nine different containers to separate their rubbish into, causing similar problems as Cornwall experience.

Since the scheme was taken over by Cory Environment in April this year, there has been thousands of complains made by Cornwall residents that their bins have not been collected, which sparked fears that rats and seagulls will emerge to feast on the waste left outside.

Some councils have even began taking waste food slop buckets in order to meet EU imposed recycling targets for the nation to recycle 50% of waste by 2020.

If you had to sort your recyclable items into several containers, would you be happy to do so for the good of the environment, or budget of your local council?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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