OPINION: Enough of the trash talk – more group hugs

Twitterer and Brixton resident, Clare Richardson, gives her view on the new recycling rules

This morning I got the ‘CHANGES TO YOUR RECYCLING AND REFUSE SERVICES’ letter from the Council, along with most Lambeth residents. I think it’s a step too far. Don’t get me wrong, I have always thought that as a borough, Lambeth has done a good job of looking after us when it comes to rubbish and I am all for recycling. How could anyone argue against it? It is better for our environment. Simple fact.

And I don’t want to do down the people who do the week in, week out job of collecting our rubbish. They probably don’t get enough thanks. I’m pleased about new reuse services such as the one opening up next to the Western Riverside Waste Authority. And I am all for the new electronic collection banks that they are introducing too.  There is a lot I like.

And while I’m not thrilled at the prospect of bumping my way through an army of wheelie bins down my road on a Monday night, or tripping over orange bags now that all residents all have to put their own rubbish on the pavement as opposed to just outside the house – I kind of get how that makes refuse collection a more efficient process.

But Mr Doug Perry, Head of Environmental Services and Highways at London Borough of Lambeth (huh? How do highways and the environment go together in a job title?!) I think ‘compulsory recycling charges’ is a little bit…well..rubbish. People need to be encouraged to recycle, not have a great big £1,000 fine imposed on them if they don’t. I still think there is often misconception and misunderstanding about what can and can’t be recycled. As more and more things become recyclable (great news), how about a bit more help?  I don’t think slapping a big scary fine on anyone is going to incentivise us to recycle more.

I understand times are tough and budgets are tight but come on Lambeth, how about a little bit more hand-holding as opposed to hand-scolding?


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