Why Bother?

As any local residents will know, Walsall Council operate a kerbside recycling scheme. This means that they give you a green plastic box, and you put recycleables in it, and they collect and recycle them, saving on the amount of waste going in landfill and helping the council meet it’s targets.

Now without notifying anyone, the rules have changed: You could leave out additional containers, and you could recycle foil, for example. However, on the last few occasions, any foil we’ve left, and anything in additional bags has been left.

Needless to say, what got left went straight in the bin, with a loud ‘well bollocks to that then’.

Surely the idea is to maximise what is recycled? Hardly making it easy, is it?

It doesn’t help that the council’s own website contains conflicting advice. Here’s two pages retrieved tonight that show different lists of items that can be recycled.

Recycle1 (PDF)
Recycle2 (PDF)


14 Responses to “Why Bother?”

  1. stymaster Says:

    We did have a 2nd box, but some bugger nicked it. I’ve asked for another.

  2. Countrie Bumpkin Says:

    I had a go with your local councillor about this over the summer as Walsall is one of the worst places for rubbish and I think its because of their draconian attitude towards recycling and waste disposal in general. It’s appalling I think. No wonder the place is so dirty and scruffy looking – they don’t give people the chance to do the right thing. In South Staffs, they collect everything they can and we even have 2 “chuck-out” days where you can put stuff like your old sofa out and they’ll collect that – just in case the gypo’s haven’t been first of course!

    If S Staffs can do it, they why can’t a big council like Walsall do it? Shame on them!

  3. stymaster Says:

    My own personal view is that it should be as easy as possible to:

    1. Recycle everything that can be recycled practically.

    2. Dispose of your waste in a responsible manner, including free or low-cost collection facilities.

    and then there should be really heavy penalties for fly tipping.

    Make doing the right thing easy, punish those that don’t comply.

  4. Hoipoloi Says:

    Cardboard still has to be put in with general rubbish (and presumably sent to landfill). The same goes for plastic (although for this SWMBO takes all our plastic to Tescos once a week).
    I have a large bag (maybe 3kg) of mixed batteries (AA, AAA, button, rechargeable etc) and I’m determined not to throw these in the bin. Once I find out if they have a bin for these at Merchant’s Way I’ll make a trip there on the bike.
    I realise that most people wouldn’t have the room, or maybe even the time but I’d be happy with a dozen boxes for recycling, each for a different material.
    Most European cities have a recycle collection each day of the week. A different material each day.
    As Countrie Bumpkin points out, we even have to pay £10.50 to have an armchair taken away from this side of the border.

    Walsall is sadly way behind most councils with their attitude towards recycling and waste management.

  5. stymaster Says:

    If Walsall MBC did plastic & cardboard recycling as well, our bin would be nearly empty. As it is, recycling cans, bottles, foil and newspapers has drastically reduced how full our bin gets: that’ll be the alcohol then :-). We fill the green box to overflowing, and more- we’d comfortable fill 2 in a fortnight.

    I believe the brummies get large items taken away for free too, so yes, Walsall seems to be behind the times.

    I work with people who live in Bromsgrove- and Look what they get to recycle. The instructions are clear too.

  6. MarkyB Says:

    ah the old recycling debate.
    I agree that councils have a target fugure that they must meet and they are crap at publishing it and helping people to achieve it.
    However, there is a sorting centre just down the road. we go (well Jane does) twice a week.
    To negate any “the council won’t come out to flush our bog” comments, get yo sad ass down the tip and do it yourself.
    The council never charged for recycling before, so why should they do it (apart from EA and Eu targets)

  7. Hoipoloi Says:

    You know, I must have spent several minutes of my valuable time replying to this in great detail. And then I thought, sod it, I’ll erase the lot and move on.

  8. stymaster Says:

    If the council has a target, and wishes to achieve it, then they should help us do it. If they don’t meet the targets, they get fined (= we get fined). I would recycle things at the tip, but an extra unneccesary car journey is hardly environmantally friendly…

  9. Cllr Mike Flower Says:

    All change next summer. Prepare for cardboard and plastics too!

    Btw – did you know there are different types of plastics and they all need to be recycled differently? Recycling is actually quite complicated when you begin to scratch the surface!

  10. stymaster Says:

    That’s good news. I’ve emailed the council to get a clear statement (given the 2 different lists), and they’ve promised to look into it.

  11. Countrie Bumpkin Says:

    At last the Council listens! Perhaps then Walsall won’t be such a dirty borough as highlighted by a letter in The Chronicle last week.
    If people can’t dispose of their rubbish easily, they’ll just chuck it anywhere which is why the place is in a mess. Make it easy for people and they’re more likely to follow.

  12. Countrie Bumpkin Says:

    You’ll have to edit the last comment Stymaster as I’ve pressed the wrong button!- Sexy Fingers again!

  13. stymaster Says:


  14. MarkyB Says:

    @cllr mike
    I think the whole idea of recycling is more complex that it first seems.
    As I am doing my MSc in Environmantal Health and Safety Management, I am expected to challenge what is presented. Not having a go, just trying to highlight some of the underlying problems.
    Do the council enter into “compliance scheme” agreements with the waste producers in order that they can fulfill their producer obligations?
    Is cardboard worth recycling when the balance of diminishing returns and Life Cycle Assessment is taken into account.
    Is glass still being landfilled or are the subsidies right for producers to recycle?
    Why are the “garden waste” bins excluding compostibles like food waste and some mono print paper waste?