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
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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