"It's too easy not to recycle rubbish in Basingstoke"

Emily Roberts with a Basingstoke and Deane wheelie bin, which she says does not force her to think more about recycling her rubbish.

Emily Roberts with the smaller grey bin used in Eastleigh.

First published in News by , Chief Reporter

I FEEL bad saying this – but when you live in Basingstoke and Deane, it really is just too easy not to recycle.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has been high-lighted as one of the worst-performing authorities for recycling, and whilst I take responsibility for my actions and wouldn’t want to blame anyone else, I do believe that the borough council’s approach and policies don’t encourage everyone to recycle.

I understand the benefits of recycling, and I know how important it is, and sometimes I do make a conscious effort to try and sort my rubbish. But the reality is that it’s just too easy not to recycle.

For people with busy lives, recycling rarely reaches the top of the list of things to do, particularly as we do not directly see the consequences of our actions if we fail to recycle.

Yes, I understand that the world needs to become more sustainable and I know that if everyone does their bit, it will make a difference. But if I ‘forget’ to put my milk bottle in the green bin, nothing bad happens to me as a result.

I know this is a lazy, selfish attitude – but I’m obviously not the only person who behaves in this way, or Basingstoke’s recycling rates would be far better.

I do feel guilty about it, but the guilt is the same as if I were to devour a large cream cake – it’s not enough to stop me from doing it again!

I believe that in order to encourage people like me to recycle, there needs to be a negative consequence to our actions if we don’t, or a positive benefit if we do.

In Eastleigh – the best-performing authority in Hampshire for recycling – residents have far less space in their rubbish bins.

If our borough council gave residents smaller household bins for rubbish and bigger bins for recycling, we would, effectively, be forced into sorting our rubbish.

If my grey household bin was overflowing each week and there was not enough space, sorting my rubbish for recycling would soon climb higher up my list of things to do.

It’s the same with plastic bags. If all supermarkets charged for bags, more people would take their own – me being one of them.

My parents are a great example of how to recycle properly, and they have a workable system in place whereby everything is properly cleaned and sorted. They would be the first to criticise me for my failure to do the same – but I just haven’t got there yet.

It’s a matter of habit, and once it’s adopted as part of everyday life, it becomes second nature. But it’s always something I’ll do tomorrow, rather than addressing today.

The other barrier which prevents me recycling properly is the confusion as to what can and cannot be recycled.

There seem to be so many rules – I still don’t know if milk bottle tops can be recycled.

Sometimes it seems a pointless exercise if I’m just going to get it wrong any way and contamin-ate all of my recycling.

Surely the borough council could make it easier for us all by placing stickers on our bins telling us exactly what can and can’t be recycled?

Giving out leaflets and stickers that get discarded is little help. If the sticker is on the bin lid in front of us, then you can’t miss it.

The kerbside glass recycling scheme, that was introduced in the last couple of years, has worked, and I believe that’s down to the fact the council has made it extremely easy to do.

We always put our glass jars and bottles into the box provided, and all we have to do is leave it outside and it is conveniently collected.

I know that councils can’t change the attitudes of everyone, and there will always be people who don’t care.

But I do care – I want to recycle, and I’m asking the council to make it easier for me to do that. Am I alone in feeling this way?

Comments (9)

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9:11pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Jo Walke says...

I quite feel that the printed piece appearing 'front page' yesterday is giving our residents somewhat duff info!

Alongside the 'smaller' waste bins - Eastleigh also operate a separate 'food collection service' - so naturally this would make having a smaller volumed black bin all the more feasable.
It's a statistic thing and if being green is being reduced to just figures on a report card by some councils - then shame!
(btw Eastleigh Council appear to be 'shelling out' on plastic bins for compost collection - who foots the bill for these? - yup, Eastleigh's council tax payers!!)

I quite liked the 'sympathetic' slant towards the lazy/doubtful recycler that Emily put on her recycling piece - it should get some thinking!
However, we should not forget that there are recycling avenues such as for tetra-pak/carton and the plastic food trays that BDBC, and infact HCC, still completely overlook - but then I suppose HCC must continue to find sufficient waste to burn in their incinerators!!!

I'm not sure about the sticker on the bin idea - if you run out with recycling/waste or to put your bins kerb-side in the rain....are you gonna stop to think what is on a sticker?!
Big recycling bins - I've said this before.....Every household should have the larger recycling bins!

Perhaps Emily we should do a 'how much recycling do you do?' piece in the vein of 'how clean is your house?'
I quite feel that the printed piece appearing 'front page' yesterday is giving our residents somewhat duff info! Alongside the 'smaller' waste bins - Eastleigh also operate a separate 'food collection service' - so naturally this would make having a smaller volumed black bin all the more feasable. It's a statistic thing and if being green is being reduced to just figures on a report card by some councils - then shame! (btw Eastleigh Council appear to be 'shelling out' on plastic bins for compost collection - who foots the bill for these? - yup, Eastleigh's council tax payers!!) I quite liked the 'sympathetic' slant towards the lazy/doubtful recycler that Emily put on her recycling piece - it should get some thinking! However, we should not forget that there are recycling avenues such as for tetra-pak/carton and the plastic food trays that BDBC, and infact HCC, still completely overlook - but then I suppose HCC must continue to find sufficient waste to burn in their incinerators!!! I'm not sure about the sticker on the bin idea - if you run out with recycling/waste or to put your bins kerb-side in the rain....are you gonna stop to think what is on a sticker?! Big recycling bins - I've said this before.....Every household should have the larger recycling bins! Perhaps Emily we should do a 'how much recycling do you do?' piece in the vein of 'how clean is your house?' Jo Walke
  • Score: 4

9:25pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Jo Walke says...

It hadn't escaped me either that, from the printed piece, Conservative's appear to be now contemplating alternative weekly collections despite residents strong feelings towards keeping the weekly bins and indeed their past election promises!
It hadn't escaped me either that, from the printed piece, Conservative's appear to be now contemplating alternative weekly collections despite residents strong feelings towards keeping the weekly bins and indeed their past election promises! Jo Walke
  • Score: -1

10:13pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Jo Walke says...

link to bins provided by Eastleigh:

Bin type/colour
The standard general (residual) waste container offered will be either a 140 litre or 180 litre wheeled bin and will be coloured black. Flatted developments will have 1100 litre wheeled bin with a black lid for shared usage and will have a black lid. (JW:between how many?!)

Recycling bins will be 240 litre wheeled bins and coloured green; bins at
flatted developmen ts will have a green lid.

A 7 litre brown internal food waste bin (caddy) and a 23 litre brown external food waste bin is provided.

A 38 litre glass box is provided.
A 240 litre wheeled bin is available on request for properties that have large quantities of glass each month (in excess of three glass boxes).

Residents that subscribe to the garden waste service will received a
reusable hessian bag. The weight of this bag must not exceed 25kg when full. (2014 = 240L plastic bins!)

http://www.eastleigh
.gov/pdf/Domestic%20
Waste%20and%20Recycl
ing%20Policy%20Jan%2
013.pdf
link to bins provided by Eastleigh: Bin type/colour The standard general (residual) waste container offered will be either a 140 litre or 180 litre wheeled bin and will be coloured black. Flatted developments will have 1100 litre wheeled bin with a black lid for shared usage and will have a black lid. (JW:between how many?!) Recycling bins will be 240 litre wheeled bins and coloured green; bins at flatted developmen ts will have a green lid. A 7 litre brown internal food waste bin (caddy) and a 23 litre brown external food waste bin is provided. A 38 litre glass box is provided. A 240 litre wheeled bin is available on request for properties that have large quantities of glass each month (in excess of three glass boxes). Residents that subscribe to the garden waste service will received a reusable hessian bag. The weight of this bag must not exceed 25kg when full. (2014 = 240L plastic bins!) http://www.eastleigh .gov/pdf/Domestic%20 Waste%20and%20Recycl ing%20Policy%20Jan%2 013.pdf Jo Walke
  • Score: 3

8:22pm Sun 9 Feb 14

deepinsight says...

Pretty clear information here:

http://www.basingsto
ke.gov.uk/browse/com
munity-and-living/re
cycling-rubbish-and-
waste/what-can-i-put
-in-my-recycling-bag
-or-bin.htm

We keep two "pre-bin bins" - bags, inside the house into which we sort the non/recyclable items and then place these in the grey/green bin. A sticker which was given out by the council is on the wall above the bags to help remind us, but once you start sorting it becomes second nature as to what is and what is not recyclable. If in doubt check on-line using the link above or call the council on 01 256 844 844.

Result? Our green bin is overflowing before each 2 weekly collection and the grey bin has hardly anything in it for its weekly collection.

If I were able to I would simply switch the collections around - make the green bins emptied each week and get the grey bins emptied every 2 weeks. Bet that would up the recycling rates!!

And BTW Emily - milk bottle tops are NOT recyclable via the BDBC / HCC green bin, but many companies collect them as they are recyclable by other authroties/organisat
ions and can be used (in bulk) to raise funds. LUSH shops colect them for recycling - some other ideas are:

For Charity:

G.H.S Recycling Ltd collect and recycle milk bottle tops, though there is a minimum weight of 500kg for collection.
For more information, click here.

For Art and Craft/Reuse:

If you are into arts and craft, why not try making any of the following from your bottle tops:

Mirror frame
Photo frame
Fridge magnets. Click here for an example of some very cute photo fridge magnets, made from bottle caps!
Candle holder
Jewellery
Art
Door curtain
A homemade game. Here is a brilliant idea, especially if you have children.

If you know of others ways to recycle bottle tops, or have any great ideas for re-use, we’d love to hear them.

Email Zoe, zah@e4environment.co
.uk.
Pretty clear information here: http://www.basingsto ke.gov.uk/browse/com munity-and-living/re cycling-rubbish-and- waste/what-can-i-put -in-my-recycling-bag -or-bin.htm We keep two "pre-bin bins" - bags, inside the house into which we sort the non/recyclable items and then place these in the grey/green bin. A sticker which was given out by the council is on the wall above the bags to help remind us, but once you start sorting it becomes second nature as to what is and what is not recyclable. If in doubt check on-line using the link above or call the council on 01 256 844 844. Result? Our green bin is overflowing before each 2 weekly collection and the grey bin has hardly anything in it for its weekly collection. If I were able to I would simply switch the collections around - make the green bins emptied each week and get the grey bins emptied every 2 weeks. Bet that would up the recycling rates!! And BTW Emily - milk bottle tops are NOT recyclable via the BDBC / HCC green bin, but many companies collect them as they are recyclable by other authroties/organisat ions and can be used (in bulk) to raise funds. LUSH shops colect them for recycling - some other ideas are: For Charity: G.H.S Recycling Ltd collect and recycle milk bottle tops, though there is a minimum weight of 500kg for collection. For more information, click here. For Art and Craft/Reuse: If you are into arts and craft, why not try making any of the following from your bottle tops: Mirror frame Photo frame Fridge magnets. Click here for an example of some very cute photo fridge magnets, made from bottle caps! Candle holder Jewellery Art Door curtain A homemade game. Here is a brilliant idea, especially if you have children. If you know of others ways to recycle bottle tops, or have any great ideas for re-use, we’d love to hear them. Email Zoe, zah@e4environment.co .uk. deepinsight
  • Score: 6

1:25pm Mon 10 Feb 14

ChinehamIan says...

Sorry, but recycling just isn't a priority for me! It's about as much a priority as so called global warming!
Sorry, but recycling just isn't a priority for me! It's about as much a priority as so called global warming! ChinehamIan
  • Score: -11

3:32pm Mon 10 Feb 14

DCSharps says...

One of the biggest frustrations I have, is that I go to the trouble of recycling and then the collection people arrive, leave half of it on the ground and distribute the bins all over the close without any rhyme or reason. I can't tell you the number of times I have returned from work and had to go round collecting items that were in a bin that morning but have somehow been left strewn on gardens, public footpaths and grass verges.
One of the biggest frustrations I have, is that I go to the trouble of recycling and then the collection people arrive, leave half of it on the ground and distribute the bins all over the close without any rhyme or reason. I can't tell you the number of times I have returned from work and had to go round collecting items that were in a bin that morning but have somehow been left strewn on gardens, public footpaths and grass verges. DCSharps
  • Score: -2

4:04pm Mon 10 Feb 14

noddyz-93 says...

I actually agree that the size of bins helps increase recycling. There appears to be other comments here saying it'll never work because Basingstoke is a large town. Ironically, in Bournemouth in Dorset(which is a lot bigger), uses the small refuse and large recycling bins - and it does work tremendously. When I was at Uni last year, I recycled almost everything as if it was second nature. Back home, its a lot easier to plop everything in the larger black refuse bin. Definitely has potential to help the town meet its targets.
I actually agree that the size of bins helps increase recycling. There appears to be other comments here saying it'll never work because Basingstoke is a large town. Ironically, in Bournemouth in Dorset(which is a lot bigger), uses the small refuse and large recycling bins - and it does work tremendously. When I was at Uni last year, I recycled almost everything as if it was second nature. Back home, its a lot easier to plop everything in the larger black refuse bin. Definitely has potential to help the town meet its targets. noddyz-93
  • Score: 5

7:59pm Tue 11 Feb 14

jonone says...

DCSharps wrote:
One of the biggest frustrations I have, is that I go to the trouble of recycling and then the collection people arrive, leave half of it on the ground and distribute the bins all over the close without any rhyme or reason. I can't tell you the number of times I have returned from work and had to go round collecting items that were in a bin that morning but have somehow been left strewn on gardens, public footpaths and grass verges.
Likewise. The Refuse Management Operatives who work in our area who think nothing of abandoning empty bins in the middle of the road. I assume that "picking up what you have dropped" and "returning bins to where you found them" is not included in their contracts, so they would not dream of doing it.
[quote][p][bold]DCSharps[/bold] wrote: One of the biggest frustrations I have, is that I go to the trouble of recycling and then the collection people arrive, leave half of it on the ground and distribute the bins all over the close without any rhyme or reason. I can't tell you the number of times I have returned from work and had to go round collecting items that were in a bin that morning but have somehow been left strewn on gardens, public footpaths and grass verges.[/p][/quote]Likewise. The Refuse Management Operatives who work in our area who think nothing of abandoning empty bins in the middle of the road. I assume that "picking up what you have dropped" and "returning bins to where you found them" is not included in their contracts, so they would not dream of doing it. jonone
  • Score: 1

11:04am Thu 13 Feb 14

suejuon says...

We can argue endlessly about the right way of setting up recycling methods, size of bin, frequency of collection and so on. In fact any method will work so long as a high priority is placed oupon doing it. Attitudes to recycling must change, the only way to do this is to educate. Basingstoke and Deane have withdrawn their funding from the Recycle for Hampshire initiative this means that the Hampshire County Council education officers who used to provide our schools with their very good programme of education for recycling no longer visit any Basingstoke school. Councillor Sanders recently said that it would be 'along slow process to get Basingstoke residents to embed recycling' - well he is right there- no education = no change in attitude.
We can argue endlessly about the right way of setting up recycling methods, size of bin, frequency of collection and so on. In fact any method will work so long as a high priority is placed oupon doing it. Attitudes to recycling must change, the only way to do this is to educate. Basingstoke and Deane have withdrawn their funding from the Recycle for Hampshire initiative this means that the Hampshire County Council education officers who used to provide our schools with their very good programme of education for recycling no longer visit any Basingstoke school. Councillor Sanders recently said that it would be 'along slow process to get Basingstoke residents to embed recycling' - well he is right there- no education = no change in attitude. suejuon
  • Score: 0

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