Confusion is not likely with bins

From: Simon Read, Woodville Road, Bexhill on Sea

Friday, 25th June 2021, 7:25 am
Household rubbish bins

Your coverage last week (June 18th 2021) suggesting that residents in Bexhill, Battle and the Rother district council area might be faced with seven waste bins as part of a shake up of recycling arrangements will probably have shaken up many of your readers on reading your correspondent Joshua Prowling’s article.

I hope it will be possible to reassure your readers at least locally in Bexhill and Battle that they are not likely to see quite so many bins - and probably only an additional small food waste caddy if the council introduces a new food waste collection.

This caddy is about the same size as a builders bucket, but with a lid.

As well as this new initiative, if implemented by the Government, from my experience working closely with the waste and recycling sector over my 35 year career in rubbish, the three wheeled bins that many householders in Bexhill and Battle currently have are unlikely to change.

Households already have a green bin, for mixed dry recyclable waste, including the paper and cardboard, steel and aluminium food and drinks cans, plastic bottles and trays and glass mentioned in the article. These are currently all collected as a “co-mingled” waste stream and then mechanically sorted into individual components at a materials recovery facility (MRF). The individually separated recyclables are then sent to processing plants for recycling into new products.

Many households currently subscribe annually for a brown garden waste bin. The good news for those in Rother is that the Government is proposing that this garden waste recycling service will become a free service if the proposed changes are implemented. Good news and a saving of £45 per brown bin subscription annually for anyone in the RDC area.

The third of the three bins is the black bin. This takes all other “residual waste” and will continue as currently.

The only other changes that may be implemented is a requirement for the waste collection authority (Rother District Council RDC), in the case of Bexhill, Battle and the RDC area, to include additional types of recyclables for recycling, such as Tetra-Pak juice cartons.

Finally, it is worth noting that while an initial reading of the DEFRA consultation paper might lead to the conclusion that councils will be forced to arrange separate collections for paper and another for glass etc, this approach would not be a cost effective solution nor an environmentally sound one, due to the additional costs in time, staffing and extra specialist equipment as well as likely atmospheric emissions as well as being more inconvenient for householders to use.

Over the last two decades the waste and recycling sector has invested significant sums in building a modern automatic mechanical and optical waste sorting facility infrastructure, such as the MRF operated by Veolia at Newhaven, which is one of many across the UK. By using this approach it has been possible to do away with separate recycling boxes for paper and another for glass, etc by refining the “one green bin” approach that is much easier for everyone to use when recycling.

For those interested in visiting the Veolia facility at Newhaven, which has open days and opportunities for educational school visits at the various Veolia facilities in the Newhaven area, can contact the company on Tel: 01273 5113, by email: [email protected] or via the website

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