Garden Waste Pilot – a misconceived project

Thank you Joy for calling our attention to LBI’s Garden Waste Pilot scheme in the last newsletter.  Assuming the scenario described of piles of black plastic bags (which may or may not be garden waste) and assorted household rubbish at the site of the garden waste bins is typical, I hope the Council have already realised that this pilot has gone belly up and are now thinking again about some better way of cutting waste collection costs without penalising gardeners.

Keeping it simple, they could possibly just collect garden waste alternate weeks, say 1st and 3rd collection of the month in some areas and 2nd and 4th collection in others (but food waste needs to be collected more frequently, or more of the big brown bins like those on council estates put out for use of street properties).

However, judging by the waste collection statistics Joy quotes (1,400 tonnes recycling, 300 tonnes food and garden waste and 6,000 landfill waste) it seems pretty obvious that the landfill waste (which costs the Council more because of the landfill levy) must include a large proportion of recyclables.  I may not be a typical householder in refuse behaviour but I know that, both by volume and weight, my recycling (excluding garden waste which I usually compost) is always around 5 times as much as my “residual” waste.

If the Council really wants to save money on refuse collection, then they need to return to the fray on persuading (or forcing – recycling is supposed to be compulsary) residents to be better recyclers.  We have not heard much about this from them for some time.  The last distributed leaflet on the green box scheme has a publication date of October 2009, and that on food waste recycling August 2012.   If you want a copy, Contact Islington can no longer provide one, and they are not even published on the LBI website.

Come on Islington Council, make sure nobody can claim ignorance of the recycling rules (a rubbish and recycling issue of Islington Life?) and then make your cost savings by pursuing those whose rubbish habits are actually costing council tax payers more, rather than penalising gardeners.  AB