What was once waste can now be a valuable commodity

IN THE July 1 edition of the Herald I found an unattributed article entitled ‘Town starts to benefit from recycling success’.

Cllr Steve Wallis and his cradle to grave adventures featured extensively in this self-congratulatory item.

Previously we have had full page EBC adverts extolling the virtues and efficiency of the EBC recycling policy.

As if to shout it from the rooftops we have even had banners draped from lamp posts inviting anyone and everyone to incline their heads and be astonished at the brilliance of EBC in the field of waste recycling. The facts are much less impressive.

I suspect a failure to achieve the necessary recycling progress resulted in EBC providing free green wheelie bins (a service which previously had to be paid for) for the fortnightly collection of green waste.

This is subsequently composted (a natural process) for resale as peat free soil conditioner.

This saves many car journeys to Roselands Depot which I am sure local residents appreciate.

Why then are we encouraged to also place our cardboard in these green bins for composting?

Composting cardboard produces the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in much the same way as landfilling.

Baled cardboard is a valuable commodity now achieving prices of £70 to £110 per tonne.

What is required is kerbside collection of cardboard for real recycling into usable cardboard products, thereby saving trees and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

EBC are at least 10 years behind similar councils in West Sussex in implementing waste recycling.

In 2000 Mid Sussex District Council were operating dual bin kerb side collections.

They have achieved 46 per cent recycling compared to EBC’s 32 per cent, Bedfordshire have four waste streams including food waste, achieving a recycling rate of more than 50 per cent and aiming for 60 per cent by 2020.

The key to all these successful schemes is kerbside collection, which reduces car journeys to recycling banks and amenity facilities, and incentivise residents.

I understand commercially inept contracts with waste management contractors have previously precluded the use of kerb side recycling. Assuming this has now been overcome what is required now from EBC is an extension to the present scheme and some clear statements and financial information as to the benefits for all; not self praise. After all the percentage of municipal waste sent to landfill in Eastbourne has increased since 2009 - 2010 and the percentage recycling rate has reduced.

There’s money to be made in recycling Cllr Wallis which may be important in these difficult times!

Bob Watts

Vancouver Road