More On the Recycling Figures




Here’s a summary of what was reported last night by Michale Starke, the Cabinet member in charge of recycling.

Very high recycling figures: In the first full month of operation,the council had 837 tonnes of dry recyclables, 984 tonnes of compostables and 725 tonnes of non-recyclables that went to landfill. So overall 71 % of the waste received went for recycling. This is a pretty impressive figure when you compare it with August 2007 – when only 20 % was recycled.

Fixed Penalty fines as a last resort:
Michael Starke said he saw fining members of the public as a last resort -if it was the only way you stop someone from persistently contaminating the recyclable materials with the wrong stuff. Chris Black pressed him on this – could any fines be issued without his knowledge – his reply was that he would be ‘very disappointed’ if that happened.

Helping those who need assistance : June Lumley, the Lib Dem Chairman of the committee, asked for reassurance that all those who needed help because they were too frail to move their bins, were getting it. Michael Starke’s response was that they sent out forms asking people to contact the council, and all those who had an assisted pull-out under the old system would still have it now.

June also asked about Tetra-Paks . Michael’s response here was that he hoped they could be included in about 6 months.

So is it all really being recycled: Chris Black asked where all the recyclable stuff was taken to. The answer was :

  • Green Waste goes initially to Boreham near Chelmsford, where it is transferred onto other lorries to St Ives in Cambridgeshire. Here it is shredded, passed through heat tunnels, broken down, sieved and turned into compost. This is now being used on farmers fields in the Fens.
  • The dry recyclables all go to Tilbury for sorting out. Paper goes off to spain for pulping and re-use as paper. Metal is reprocessed in the UK. Plastics are heated and turned in plastic objects like pens, CD cases and fleeces.
  • Glass cannot be remade into more glass because all the different coloured glasses are mixed together. So it is mostly crushed and used in roadbuilding.
  • All in all, a very interesting evening, and Cllr Gill Lucas-Gill suggested that this explanation of where all the material goes to shoudl be included in “Rochford News”.

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  • Here’s a question for anyone to answer – if our recycling is being shipped to spain, or hauled to other counties for sorting or doing whatever needs to be done to it, what exactly is Rochford DCs carbon footprint? How is the residents recycling helping Rochford lower its CO2 emissions if everything is being shipped out of the area?

  • Its a good question.

    Bu bear in mind that wood pulp normally arrives from places further away than Spain – Finland and Canada for instance.

    And think how much of those plastics are items made in China.

    The best uses for compostables is to make compost in your own garden if you have one!

  • Just a quick note to say thank you to Chris for sorting me out with a new blue crate for my recycling over-spill. I was preparing myself for a drawn out discussion with the recycling hotline to negotiate a replacement when he e-mailed me to say he’d sorted one out for me already.

    Excellent work!

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