Monday, 11 April 2011

Recycling Fines Get The Boot.

Greetings,

I was happy to read that as of today City Councils will no longer be allowed to fine households for making mistakes with their recycling. It always struck me as very unfair that when genuine mistakes are made by individuals using complex and varied recycling systems in earnest they should be fined. Surely it is better to encourage people to recycle for the benefit of everyone rather than threatening them for not being 100% correct in their use of the system. Especially when the fines in question could be up to £1000! We last discussed this issue in December and you clearly felt the same way as us.

In every recycling system you have to accept that there is going to be a certain level of contamination in your waste streams. At EMERGE we collect from around 1000 premises across Greater Manchester and largely we receive very clean waste from everyone we work with, this is acheived through communication and education. When someone does mix wastes we explain to them the 'Why' of source seperation and also provide signage which helps to educate people about their waste systems.

I hope that a new 'Carrot' initiative is the direction for domestic recycling services, rather than the old 'Stick' fines. If enough people are enthused about the benefits and rewards of recycling then you shouldn't need to worry about fining households as they will already be producing clean recyclates for treatment.

Optimistic? Perhaps, but I'd rather try to engage people through discussing the issues than threaten them with fines in order to acheive lower contaminant levels.

Alex.

EMERGE Recycling

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