Some Thoughts on Recycling

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by Naval_Gazer, Jun 15, 2008.

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  1. A displacement activity is something trivial you do in order to put off doing something more important. One of my lecturers at night school once said she never found the time to wash her hair unless she was rushing towards a deadline for an assignment. At the moment, my hedge seriously needs trimming but I am waiting for my grown-up kids to appear to help me celebrate Fathers' Day. So here I am posting loads of new topics on RR.

    Now, I'm all for recycling. Recycling is good. I recycle thoughts, left-over food, kitchen and garden waste for composting, bottles, cardboard, paper, soft plastic, blood, false teeth, spectacles, etc., with the best of them. My daughter even asked me if I was recycling my own hair because I left so much of it on my pillow for the hair-fairy. As far as recycling goes, I think it's fair to say that the NG household does its bit to save the planet from deforestation, global warming and the end of life as we know it. Besides, how could we buy our fleeces if we didn't contribute so many empty plastic bottles for their construction?

    What really gets me is that I, as a conscientious eco-friendly householder, can get fined for not recycling the odd Veuve Clicquot bottle or Heinz baked bean tin whereas the proprietor of a factory, shop, pub or night club is under no compunction to recycle any of his/her waste. I've checked with the local council and it's true. Businesses don't pay household council tax so they are ineligible for council refuse and recycling collections. Instead, they pay contractors to collect their stuff and take it to a landfill site (in the best of cases) or to some local beauty spot for a spot of fly-tipping (in the worst of cases). Just think of all those millions of bottles and tons of paper and cardboard not being recycled in comparison with the paltry contents of our household wheelie bins and boxes. How can that be right?

    And another thing. We don't actually recycle glass jars and bottles except those used by the milkman for doorstep milk and fruit juice deliveries. We only recycle the glass from which they are made. It's all very well enjoying the satisfying smash as we poke our bottles through those holes in the skips at the bottle bank but how much extra energy is consumed in joining up all those fragments of glass to turn them back into bottles again? I still remember collecting old Corona and Tizer bottles and getting paid thruppence for each one returned to the shop. Why isn't there an international agreement for a range of standard bottles that can be re-used, e.g. one for a litre of red wine, one for a litre of white wine, one for minerals, one for sauces (tomato, HP, Daddies, etc), one for cordials, etc.?

    And finally... when I was young we used to recycle tin foil milk bottle caps. We even made money for charity through Blue Peter appeals at school. Nowadays, tin foil is among the few things my council won't accept for recycling. Why? I'm not even allowed to recycle foil-coated cardboard so why do manufacturers continue to use it for packaging. I've just thrown a Colgate toothpaste box into my rubbish bin because it can't be recycled. Come to think of it, why does a tube of toothpaste need a box anyway? Stop it. Stop it now!

    Any other ideas out there?
  2. They wouldnt take my recycling stuff the other day because there was a small piece of cardboard amoungst all the glass and plastic bottles etc.

    Someone told me that our council doesnt recycle the stuff anyway,it goes in either landfill or incinerator.

    I asked the council for a definitive list of what goes into which bin and they sent me one.
    Why dont metal jar lids go into the metal bin and not the general waste bin?

    I find it very confusing but entertaining all the same.

    Time for my medication now matron,thank you.
  3. You're confused? Our council doesn't even collect glass items and paper shreddings are taboo because they gum up the works. From what you say, it now looks like I could be done for conscientiously putting all my metal bottle caps and jar lids in the recycling.

    Incidentally, are you on the long blue pills or do you just have the little round red ones? They remind me of the green Smarties we used to scatter on the lawn for the kids to find when we came home from sea.

  4. Here in Bournemouth we have two bins. One for normal waste, and one for recycling. When recycling first hit us, we had small bins for recycling, now they have been cleaned, and swapped around because are doing well. The recycling bin is now the larger of the two.

    All recycling, glass, tins, carboard, plastics, papers, etc goes into this bin, and is collected fortnightly (it is full by then, sometimes more). It then goes off to a plant in North Dorset area where it is off loaded and sorted by machine, crushed and compounded to be sent off to sites that use it for making other things. Usually coming back as bottles, glass items, tins etc.

    The smaller bin is still collected weekly for odour reasons, but in one week we had one black back full of rubbish waste in our bin.

    So it appears to be working here.

    Regards, Chris

  5. If the government really gave a tossthen they'd make it illegal for organisations to post junk mail!

    I've lost count of the number of bogus letters i recieve promoting services i have not requested and have no desire to invest in.

    Ban the barstewards i say!
  6. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Sooty: But Royal Mail make more money from delivering 'junk mail' than they do from counter sales (stamps, TV licences, etc.), so it's not commercially viable for them to do so. Not good, I admit. But that's business... :oops:

  7. You can stop Junk Mail by registering with the Mailing Preference Service. Go to the following link


    It can take a bit of time to set up, but it does work, and has worked for us.

    Regards, Chris

  8. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Alternatively don't ditch your junk mail but scribble marker pen through your address and the barcode-like marking on the bottom, and write on it:

    "Not known at this address - return to sender"

    ...then pop it back in the post box! :thumright:
  9. Don't get much addressed mail anymore from the postie
    so you can't return to sender .
    Its all leaflets and handouts ---usual straight in to the bin . Postie gets
    fcukin annoyed doing deliveries --it means a stop at every house letter posted mail or none ------ Posties are on work and finish contracts . Not many getting finished early these days !!

    :nemo: :nemo:
  10. 'Here in Bournemouth we have two bins."

    Downunder we have three bins - Green for waste garden rubbish, Blue re-cycling for ALL paper, glass, tin etc, and Yellow for all other rubbish. Naturally, Yellow is the smallest.

    It works well - Yellow is collected every week and Green and Blue on alternate weeks.

    I live in Victoria but in the next state, South Australia, there is a 5 cents refund on every bottle and can. We have done the maths (several times after a few beers as its printed on every can and bottle) and there is no way we can fill a truck with empties, take it over the border and make a profit !!!

    I seem to recall the Supermarkets in Denmark re-cycle bottles. You put them on a conveyor belt on the way in and collect a credit slip to use on your way out.
  11. The main reason councils are getting big on recycling is nothng to do with saving the planet rather they have to pay the ever increasing landfill tax for household waste, so recycling does save them cash hence the big push these days from councils. Now as you rightly say 'free' waste collection does not exist for commercial organisations and they have to pay either the council or a private contractor who simply adds the land fill tax to their charges. Many companies do indulge in recycling because it cuts costs, my own employer is very keen on recycling and the costs it saves.
  12. I thought I'd recycle this idea.

    Irrespective of land fill tax, if councils have an interest in the environment (as most declare), then they should ensure that businesses toe the line with regard to recycling too. Councils receive income from rates on business premises and might even be able to provide rebates to companies that participate in recycling schemes. This assumes that recycling generates a profit but here is an interesting statistic from, of all places, Peterborough (link):

    Even a bottle bank behind each pub and restaurant should help or am I missing something here? However, I still prefer the idea of adopting a universal range of bottles that can be recycled intact.
  13. Whilst I would agree that actual re-use of containers would be even better than using them as lower cost raw materials I think that genie is too far out of the bottle to get pushed back in.

    As for councils encouraging re-cycling, as I poijted out they only do it to save their own costs on land-fill tax and all the saving the planet stuff is spin. More and more companies do recycle because they can equally cut costs by doing so. Next time you see a building being demolished just watch how they deal with the material. All the metal is extraxted for recycling and then the brick and concrete is crushed to provide hardcore for other building rojects. Industry is taking recycling seriously because it cuts costs.
  14. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Similar here in Renfrew County, Ontario - we have green for compostable waste, blue for paper/card, yellow for plastics/metal/glass and a garbage collection for the rest - there's also a twice yearly clear up of large items from the road-side (e.g. fridges, barbecues, beds, furniture, etc).

    Here in Ontario there's now a province wide deposit system 10c on beer bottles and cans, 20c on wine and spirits containers (includes tetra-pak as well as glass). Kids' education fund is being topped up with the proceeds of the returns on dad's drinking! :)
  15. The whole business of "recycling" bottles is a joke and would make a big contribution to fuel saving and other resources if it wasn't. Surely charging deposits on bottles and running collection depots can't be that difficult? The Austrians seem to manage it. The delivery wagons run back to the despatch point mostly empty anyway.

    The stuff that goes in the "bottle bank" very rarely gets made into a bottle again. It just takes a few coloured bottles to get in the clear bottle bin to sod up an entire production batch. My understanding is that the glass recovered from bottle banks usually ends up as fibre glass insulation, as the quality of glass needed there is not high.
  16. We are all caught up in the "recycle" game, whether we like it or not.

    In Glasgow, the City Council is spending squillions to recycle stuff, of all sorts.

    What they dont seem to be doing is encouraging people to reuse.

    I am a big fan of the FREECYCLE and FREESHARE websites, which promote re-use. They are both YAHOO groups.

    Dead simple - you offer something you no longer want, or ask for something you need.

    Someone else in the group will ask for what you are offering, or reply to your wanted ad.

    There are few rules, and sometimes the items being offered are not actually working, but repairable.

    Anyone else involved?

    Anyone else got any ideas how we can promote the idea of re-use?
  17. CP

    Agree, though we try to sell on through car boot sales etc.
  18. More like filling the ever deepening pockets of council workers with bigger wage packets, for doing less work each year.

    At least, in the recycling bit, here in my council area in the Smoke, they still collect every day (high rise), but recycle only once a week - eveything paper/card/plastic/kitchen foil/juice cartons etc.

    Seperate bins for glass colours & paper, but nothing for waste food/tea bags etc. They also still take shredded paper.

    I haven't yet heard of many (if any) people in my area, after shopping in their local tesco/sainsbury etc unwrapping their goods and leaving the packaging at the till !! I may just give that a go to see what they do ..... probably get done for littering !! :(

  19. The ones Im on have a dove on them???

    I feel very happy after taking them,of course the bottle can be recycled when empty. :thanks:
  20. I agree with most of the suggestions about commercial recycling. For the record, this is an island: we don't have space to landfill everything and recycling is a no-brainer, as they say across the pond. Central government, for good or bad, has left the details up to councils, hence dissimilar policies on different sides of the street, etc. And also for the record, if there are councils that dump the recycling into landfill, then name them! Many rumours on this, no tangible evidence.

    Ultimately, we need more energy-from-waste plants, but the NIMBYs are still overly powerful and under-informed. But not always - anyone who has driven up the M25 around Heathrow recently will have seen the modern EFW plant just outside the motorway, with embellished chimney to boot. There's another new one on the A33 just outside of Basingstoke, for those that care.

    As for "lining pockets" - tosh! Landfill Taxes are a European reality and the vastly greater proportion of Council workers in the waste area actually work pretty hard (yes, there are a few bad eggs, but on the whole not a bad lot).

    For a model solution, look at Stockholm: EFW powers the entire city's central heating.

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