Figures show borough is still one of the worst authorities in Britain for recycling

Basingstoke Gazette: Councillor Robert Donnell Councillor Robert Donnell

BASINGSTOKE and Deane continues to be one of the worst performing local authorities in Britain for recycling.

Annual figures published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show the amount of waste sent for recycling composting or reuse between April 2012 and March 2013 rose to 25 per cent from last year’s figure of 23.95 per cent.

Despite the small amount of progress, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council ranks as the 21st worst of 352 authorities across the country when it comes to recycling.

Last year, the borough council was named the 10th worst authority in the country and second worst in the county, only finishing behind unitary authority, Southampton.

Former Basingstoke and Deane Mayor Councillor Martin Biermann, one of the borough’s keenest environmental campaigners, told The Gazette that the borough council must do better despite the small improvement.

He said: “I don’t feel that we can relax – I still think the figure is pretty disgraceful. We really shouldn’t be so low and there are wonderful opportunities to do better than we are now.

“Therefore, we have got to get our act together.

“Hart, apart from being one of the best places to live, can teach us some things about waste collection, and perhaps we should learn from what they can achieve.

“If they can do it, I can’t see a reason why we can’t. But I am not specifically saying that we should go to alternative waste collections (where bins are collected fortnightly, alternating with recycling collections to encourage people to use their green bins).”

Cabinet member for environment and climate change, Councillor Robert Donnell, told The Gazette: “Some of the highest recycling councils are the ones which do not have a weekly bin collection. The people of Basingstoke want to keep the weekly collection.

“If you go round the housing estates, such as in my ward, Winklebury, they do not want to have their bins taken every two weeks, and that is being picked up on by the rest of the country.

“It is about getting everyone to recycle what we can, and it is about maintaining services and the weekly bin collection.”

Cllr Donnell also hailed initiatives set up by the borough council.

He said: “In the last year, we have introduced glass kerbside recycling. It has been a massive success and residents love it. The amount of glass that has been collected has gone through the roof, and it is a very popular service.

“The Christmas tree recycling scheme is also very successful, and every year we have lots of different locations to recycle them.”

He added: “Overall, we have a new and exciting educational initiative which will see us run competitions around schools, and that’s in the planning stages.”

The best performing authority in Hampshire continues to be Eastleigh, with a recycling rate of 40 per cent.

Comments (10)

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2:11pm Sun 19 Jan 14

deepinsight says...

So why is Basingstoke's figure so poor? We have fortnightly recycling collections, not weekly, that's for green bins and glass boxes.
So why is Basingstoke's figure so poor? We have fortnightly recycling collections, not weekly, that's for green bins and glass boxes. deepinsight

2:14pm Sun 19 Jan 14

deepinsight says...

Rob Donnell should be aware of the facts before he comments about recycling collections.

How about researching as to why the Borough is once again one of the worst IN THE COUNTRY for recycling rates?
Rob Donnell should be aware of the facts before he comments about recycling collections. How about researching as to why the Borough is once again one of the worst IN THE COUNTRY for recycling rates? deepinsight

9:15pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Pacifier says...

I suppose its too much to expect Cllr Donnell is replaced as he has obviously failed.....litter and collections seem to be getting worse, although to be fair that might be because of Xmas and weather...we seemed to getting better when we had that lady Cllr doing things...recycling is too complicated...expect
ing residents to understand the differences between what is recyclable and what isn't...sort it out Donnell
I suppose its too much to expect Cllr Donnell is replaced as he has obviously failed.....litter and collections seem to be getting worse, although to be fair that might be because of Xmas and weather...we seemed to getting better when we had that lady Cllr doing things...recycling is too complicated...expect ing residents to understand the differences between what is recyclable and what isn't...sort it out Donnell Pacifier

2:02pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Max Headroom says...

Agreed. I live in a block of flats with a set of communal green bins. In December the council refused to collect 5 of the 7 bins due to people putting plastic bags, cutlery, even wooden table legs into the green bins. It meant that recyclables were overflowing onto the street before the council finally agreed to take the lot away.

The information isn't clear enough for some people to understand, which ruins it for the rest of us who are trying to recycle properly. Anyway, if plastic bags are recyclable in supermarkets, why aren't they recyclable in the green bins?
Agreed. I live in a block of flats with a set of communal green bins. In December the council refused to collect 5 of the 7 bins due to people putting plastic bags, cutlery, even wooden table legs into the green bins. It meant that recyclables were overflowing onto the street before the council finally agreed to take the lot away. The information isn't clear enough for some people to understand, which ruins it for the rest of us who are trying to recycle properly. Anyway, if plastic bags are recyclable in supermarkets, why aren't they recyclable in the green bins? Max Headroom

9:42am Tue 21 Jan 14

Buster Preciation says...

It's amazing what can be achieved by the manipulation of statistics. For a local authority to improve from 10th worse to 21st worse in just 12 months is actually not bad going. Sure the big picture is far from good but bearing in mind how slow the organs of state work this report could quite easily have been written with a positive bias if the Gazette wished. "Borough rises 11 places in recycling league table" would have been an equally valid headline. Are the cynics expecting us to be topping the charts in 12 months?
It's amazing what can be achieved by the manipulation of statistics. For a local authority to improve from 10th worse to 21st worse in just 12 months is actually not bad going. Sure the big picture is far from good but bearing in mind how slow the organs of state work this report could quite easily have been written with a positive bias if the Gazette wished. "Borough rises 11 places in recycling league table" would have been an equally valid headline. Are the cynics expecting us to be topping the charts in 12 months? Buster Preciation

10:30am Tue 21 Jan 14

Pacifier says...

I think I have one answer..I keep putting my green bin out and it isn't collected on the normal day so the bins are left strewn around the road....do I troop out to find my green bin or do I just dump my recyclables in the emptied black bin? The black bin wins!! Its getting worse by the week!!! Donnell should be replaced!
I think I have one answer..I keep putting my green bin out and it isn't collected on the normal day so the bins are left strewn around the road....do I troop out to find my green bin or do I just dump my recyclables in the emptied black bin? The black bin wins!! Its getting worse by the week!!! Donnell should be replaced! Pacifier

2:38pm Tue 21 Jan 14

BasTran says...

Some very good points. Alternative weekly collections might have an impact. Weekly food collections are a good idea and work elsewhere. Almost every council in the UK (whether they have weekly collections or not) is better than Basingstoke. But there are two things we need to address. First Basingstoke generates more waste than almost anywhere else. We need to re-use more of the stuff we buy; we need to buy less packaging (and stuff). Once we have reduced the amount of waste we produce we need to recycle twice as much. But you are right Basingstoke Council makes it soooo difficult to recycle. Too many rules on what can and what can’t be recycled. The is nothing stopping the Council of setting itself a target of improving recycling rates by 5% a year for the next 3 years. That would move us up to "mid-table". But the VERY FIRST thing we need to change is the attitude of the Council. They just don’t seem to care.
Some very good points. Alternative weekly collections might have an impact. Weekly food collections are a good idea and work elsewhere. Almost every council in the UK (whether they have weekly collections or not) is better than Basingstoke. But there are two things we need to address. First Basingstoke generates more waste than almost anywhere else. We need to re-use more of the stuff we buy; we need to buy less packaging (and stuff). Once we have reduced the amount of waste we produce we need to recycle twice as much. But you are right Basingstoke Council makes it soooo difficult to recycle. Too many rules on what can and what can’t be recycled. The is nothing stopping the Council of setting itself a target of improving recycling rates by 5% a year for the next 3 years. That would move us up to "mid-table". But the VERY FIRST thing we need to change is the attitude of the Council. They just don’t seem to care. BasTran

12:57pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Jonty11 says...

We should

REDUCE the amount of waste we produce - it's our waste, we're responsible for its creation!

REUSE it as much as possible e.g. having the good old fashioned compost heap at the bottom of the garden

Then we should recycle the rest.......not only is the most environmentally friendly but it also the most cost effective - and remember we all pay for these waste collections!
We should REDUCE the amount of waste we produce - it's our waste, we're responsible for its creation! REUSE it as much as possible e.g. having the good old fashioned compost heap at the bottom of the garden Then we should recycle the rest.......not only is the most environmentally friendly but it also the most cost effective - and remember we all pay for these waste collections! Jonty11

6:18pm Wed 22 Jan 14

deepinsight says...

Jonty11 - You forgot REFUSE.

REFUSE to buy items which have too much packaging, or request the shop to deal with it at point of sale ( This can be great fun).

If in business then negotiate with your suppliers to REDUCE packaging, or use packaging that is not surplus to requirements and then ensure it is REUSEable.
Jonty11 - You forgot REFUSE. REFUSE to buy items which have too much packaging, or request the shop to deal with it at point of sale ( This can be great fun). If in business then negotiate with your suppliers to REDUCE packaging, or use packaging that is not surplus to requirements and then ensure it is REUSEable. deepinsight

9:03pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Disruptive says...

There are multiple issues
1. The council doesnt car about sustainability or the local environment. Ask any council officer for a definition of the word sustainability and they look at you like you have 6 heads.
2. The council assumes that publishing an annual leaflet about what you can put in your green bin is sufficient education for the borough
3. The council has taken away support for recycling education in local schools
4. The council make everything in this borough so darned difficult - why can we not put plastic bottle tops in the green bin, why can we not put yogurt pots and margarine tubs and other plastic food containers in the green bin, why can we not but recyclable polythene in the green bin, why can we not put tetra packs in th green bin,
5. For a borough that has the biggest property portfolio in the country, and over £150m why do residents have to PAY for a garden waste collection? Why is there not a food waste collection facility?
6. The council has done nothing to encourage local businesses to recycle more. Again, why do local businesses have to pay to have recycling collected? Why not provide recycling facilities on all the major business parks for businesses - the recycling rate would treble overnight!
7. Why are there no recycling bins in public places - like Eastrop and War Memorial park? Why are public litter bins not divided into compartments like in most other towns? Why no recycling bins at events like basingstoke Festival, the World Party etc..?
8. When is the last time you saw any advertising by the council about recycling?
9. How many fairs and local events did the council attend promoting recycling?
Its about time the council realised that they need to keep this in the forefront of people's minds, and they wont do that unless they get out there and engage with the public about this serious subject. Come on Donnell - it's about time you made some stuff happen in this town. There is plenty of support and great ideas by the green groups - but you simply refuse to listen to them!
There are multiple issues 1. The council doesnt car about sustainability or the local environment. Ask any council officer for a definition of the word sustainability and they look at you like you have 6 heads. 2. The council assumes that publishing an annual leaflet about what you can put in your green bin is sufficient education for the borough 3. The council has taken away support for recycling education in local schools 4. The council make everything in this borough so darned difficult - why can we not put plastic bottle tops in the green bin, why can we not put yogurt pots and margarine tubs and other plastic food containers in the green bin, why can we not but recyclable polythene in the green bin, why can we not put tetra packs in th green bin, 5. For a borough that has the biggest property portfolio in the country, and over £150m why do residents have to PAY for a garden waste collection? Why is there not a food waste collection facility? 6. The council has done nothing to encourage local businesses to recycle more. Again, why do local businesses have to pay to have recycling collected? Why not provide recycling facilities on all the major business parks for businesses - the recycling rate would treble overnight! 7. Why are there no recycling bins in public places - like Eastrop and War Memorial park? Why are public litter bins not divided into compartments like in most other towns? Why no recycling bins at events like basingstoke Festival, the World Party etc..? 8. When is the last time you saw any advertising by the council about recycling? 9. How many fairs and local events did the council attend promoting recycling? Its about time the council realised that they need to keep this in the forefront of people's minds, and they wont do that unless they get out there and engage with the public about this serious subject. Come on Donnell - it's about time you made some stuff happen in this town. There is plenty of support and great ideas by the green groups - but you simply refuse to listen to them! Disruptive

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