Friday, October 13, 2006


Make recycling in Prestwich easier!

Today I took advantage of my employer’s flexible working policies to enjoy a flexi-day off work. I mightn’t ever get to use my maternity benefits, but by God am I gonna use flexi-time to its fullest!

I had a fair bit to do today – chores mainly. But I did do a spot of leafleting – the Kingswood Rd / Dashwood Rd / North St area. And I did the recycling.

It’s interesting that Bury Council have decided to put a chip on people’s blue recycling bins without telling anyone, ostensibly to boost recycling somehow, whilst at the same time neglecting to make the act of recycling any easier. Today I needed to recycle my plastic bottles, my paper and card, and my cans. And I also had some clothes that I wanted to donate to charity via the clothing bins. There are three local recycling facilities, as I’m sure many St Mary’s residents are aware. There’s the tip (someone has kindly abbreviated this three-letter word to the much more convenient “Household Waste Recycling Centre”) at the bottom of Clifton Road, and the Longfield Centre car park, and also Tesco.

This is great. But why oh why do I have to visit all three of them to get my recycling done? It would be so much more convenient, and so simple surely, to provide a better mix of facilities at each one. At present, they all have paper, which is fine. But only the Longfield Centre takes plastic, only the tip takes cans, and only Tesco takes clothes for donation. The Longfield Centre doesn’t even take cardboard, which is hugely irritating. Not to mention the fact that at Tesco and the Longfield Centre, the actual recycle "bins" are often full to overflowing.

If the Council are serious about boosting recycling then they should put right these problems at the first opportunity. How are they to expect people to shift from throwing out recyclables to actually recycling them, if the effort involved is so tortuous? It took me half an hour, three separate journeys (by car, since the tip isn’t accessible by any form of public transport), and quite a bit of forethought to get everything recycled today. And I’m young, bothered enough about recycling to actually do it, able-bodied, with my own car, and no kids to look after. If I was a working parent with no car, I wouldn’t put the effort in. And no amount of costly chips in bins will change that!

I want Bury Council to provide a better mix of recycling opportunities at its facilities, and I want this to happen quickly. Only then will the people of St Mary’s ward have a realistic chance of achieving recycling rates we can all be proud of.


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