Recycling comes to Aberdeenshire

 

This month we have had to come to grips with the reality of re-cycling Aberdeenshire Council style. We have had a small forest of paper delivered to us over the past month or so, with a bewildering number of commands and veiled threats. Mike and I are both intelligent enough - but we have to sit down and try to figure out what it will mean to us - and just WHAT they are asking us to do!

As far as we can tell it goes something like this for all of us who DON'T live in a town - and that must be many thousands of Council Tax payers in a rural area like ours.

 

  •  As of October 2006 there will be a collection of household refuse only once a fortnight. This means that we will have to cut our general waste volume in half - and we will have to endure the stink of rotting food etc. as it sits there for two hot weeks! Note to ourselves: we will have to re position the wheelie bins well away from the house: no longer can we have them close to the back door for easy throwing out of black bags.

  •   We have been given a second and larger wheelie bin with a blue top, which is for paper only. This one will be uplifted once every month (or 4 weeks? it is unclear). GREAT! this means that junk mail can be simply popped straight into the paper bin - 'do not pass go, do not collect 200'  
    But on closer inspection there are some BIG catches to this. We cannot put envelopes in - so all mail has to be sorted first. For security reasons we already shred any pages with personal address information on them - so we remove plastic wrappers too. We cannot include the Yellow Pages or phone books; we cannot include cardboard  .... get the picture? so we have to carefully sort through our paper to find out what we can include. Nevertheless it looks like it will be a welcome addition to the constant battle to keep the junk mail inflow at bay. 

  •   Cardboard, metal cans, glass and plastics - these have to be separately sorted - washed where necessary - labels removed - bottle tops removed - and then WE HAVE TO TAKE THEM TO A RECYCLING POINT. A separate journey in the van will be needed for this - how's that for global warming? Can anyone tell me how this will save the planet? Instead of arranging for a weekly uplift of these items the Council in their infinite wisdom have decided that thousands of us have to make individual journeys to recycling points with this material! Who pays for the extra petrol costs and running costs for our van? what if you cannot get to the recycling point? How are old people, or people with no vans supposed to cope? We run a van already because there is no way to get garden refuse to the tip in Turriff (some 15 miles away) and now we are being asked to subsidise the Council even more by doing THEIR job of refuse collection for them!
    But (reluctantly) we have started the process early - to make sure that we can manage to handle the changes. Summer is a good time to start, as there are no problems with being snowed in or rained on as we get the new system running.

  •   We have a composter provided at a discount from the Council - but it turns out that it is entirely the wrong type for handling small quantities of household waste such as fruit and vegetable waste. And we have gone out to buy a small garden incinerator for burning anything we cannot include in paper bin.

                    

 

        

 

       

    

 

 

Mike and Elisabeth Liddell 2006-13

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