17th January 2014 – BTN member sent this letter to Cllr. Donnell, cabinet member responsible for waste and recycling, and a similar letter to the Basingstoke Gazette, which published it.
I hope you are well. Over the last few weeks there has been some coverage over Basingstoke’s poor record in generating waste (too much) and recycling it (too little). I know you are of the opinion that there is nothing we can do unless we move to alternative week collections (AWC) – which you are not prepared to do. Fair enough.
But you are conflating two separate issues. There is plenty of evidence that recycling rates can be improved whilst maintaining weekly collections. You will be aware of Eric Pickles view on this. He is very clear ie it is a myth that recycling can only be improved by AWC. You can find Mr Pickles views here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-government-guidance-on-weekly-bin-collections. and here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-weekly-rubbish-collections.
Can we all now agree that Basingstoke’s appalling recycling record can be improved by other means than just changing our bin collection regime. We need action; not excuses.
I hope the Gazette (and the Observer) keep up their campaigns on recycling so we can all get things done. I have written to the Gazette and spoken with the Observer. Hopefully they will continue to highlight the opportunities for improved recycling.
Groups like Basingtsoke Transition can work with the council to improve recycling and reduce waste. I am sure there are other groups equally as keen to help. But we need leadership – and that must come from the Council and we need targets. Would you be prepared to commit to a target of getting Basingstoke’s recycling rate up by 10% a year for the next three years? This has been achieved by other councils.
Data on the country’s waste disposal and recycling records are at: