WEEKEND WEB: If in doubt, chuck it out
CABINET CALL: A weekly column written by members of South Holland District Council’s Cabinet. This week with: COUN ROGER GAMBBA-JONES
On average, everyone in the UK throws away their own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks.
We can all help to ease the problem by reducing the amount we throw away in the first place and recycling as much materials as we can.
That seven week figure is about to be reduced by our Christmas and New Year festivities, with a large amount of waste generated by increased consumption and by the giving and receiving of gifts.
The waste created must go somewhere. What can’t be recycled, or used to generate energy, goes into landfill.
Residents appreciate the quality of the waste service we provide and I know that our staff really appreciate your good wishes, especially at this time of year.
However, it is an expensive business and we are always looking for ways to reduce costs.
Some cost savings come from making sure that the most expensive form of disposal, landfill, is the last resort.
To do this we need to make sure as much waste as possible is recycled, or sent to our energy from waste plant (EfW) to be converted into electricity.
It costs the county council (the taxpayers) over £140-a-ton to put waste into landfill. Sending waste to EfW is about one third of that and recycling waste costs even less.
The better use we make of our household waste, the less it costs to provide the service.
Recycling contaminated by leftover food is one of our biggest challenges when it comes to increasing the amount of waste actually being recycled.
We are always asking you to empty and wash out containers, so that the leftovers don’t spoil the rest of the waste in your green bag.
However, this can be a hectic time of the year, especially when the house is full of visitors.
So if in doubt, ‘don’t recycle it, chuck it out’. One left over container of soggy wet food, can lead to six, or eight tons of recycling going to landfill.
Also at this time of year, fancy wrapping paper that’s shiny and covered in sparkly bits, is just as useless as those foil crisp packets we tell you to throw away.
An easy guide for paper is, if you screw it up and it stays like that, it’s good to go, otherwise bin it!
Thank you for recycling, have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.