What’s up with all this erratic recycling?
I don’t mean on an individual level, I mean in terms of what is provided. My mum’s street takes almost everything weekly and so does mine, which is great. But my boyfriend’s house (which is in the same town) doesn’t take paper, and my friend’s (also in this town) takes paper and etc but not food waste. My dad’s flat in Cheltenham recently didn’t have a collection at all and they had to take stuff to the local dump (which did recycle). What is this? I mean if it’s up to local councils to sort out then I can see how it would differ between districts – and towns at a push – but why would my own town have different schemes depending on the street?
Recycling may not make the entire materials economy sustainable, but it takes more steps down that path than most things, that’s for sure. It reduces the amount of waste going to landfill at one end (reducing methane emissions and land-use and saving money) and reduces the pressure for virgin resources at the other end of the production cycle. (reducing habitat destruction plus pollution and waste from extraction and again, saving money). And what’s more, it’s relatively easy to get the average Joe to jump on-board. Once the council gives you a couple of boxes and sets the mixed rubbish collection to every fortnight, it doesn’t take a spark of brilliance, a commitment of the purse or even a care for the world to put your paper and bottles and stuff in the recycling box. It’s easy. It doesn’t cost anything. It’s just throwing a piece of trash into a different container. Even people who don’t care about the ‘environment’ (as if that’s some faraway place made of compassion and bunny rabbits) will recycle if that’s the most effective way to get rid of their rubbish each week. And that’s just the kind of solution we need, isn’t it? Things that are hugely effective and easy to implement on a wide scale. I’m afraid waiting until we can convert the entire world’s population to a ‘green’ way of thinking will just be too slow… In order to avoid environmental collapse we need to make the green way the easy way.
So, local councils, what are you thinking?! You have this power to control the recycling rate of your district and you squander it on a patchy service that is great in parts and shoddy in others? This just isn’t good enough. And don’t tell me it’s ”better than nothing” because I know that. But we haven’t got time for ”better than nothing” – we need ”as good as humanely possible”.
I want to be able to send a scrap of paper or apple core of whatever on it’s way to reincarnation whosoever house I’m in. It’s 2012 now, let’s up the game a little.