Alliance Party representative for Larne, Elena Aceves-Cully, has commented on the 3 bin recycling system used in Larne Borough Council.
Elena Aceves-Cully said:
“I commend Larne’s Borough Council in their efforts to reduce the amount of waste dumped into our landfill sites by encouraging our citizents to reduce, re-use and recycle household materials. I am very happy with the 3 bin system and the prospect of a recycling facility close to householders (e.g. for me the one in Islandmagee/Ballycarry). I totally disagree with the comments sent last week from a householder who contacted your newspaper, who said that the initiative was seriously flawed and therefore destined to failure.
“It was about time that our public bodies took the waste management and recycling issues seriously and follow the steps which other EU countries have taken several years ago. After all, it is a known fact that the UK has the worst recycling record in the whole of the EU (no surprise!). More recycling means less rubbish in the dump, tangible benefits to our environment and who knows, perhaps lower rates in the long term?
“It is true that recycling may take perhaps an extra bin in your kitchen (to allow for blue bin and compost-friendly materials) and a bit of time to allow for drying rinse cans, bottles, etc. However I must admit I get a certain degree of self satisfaction when doing this thinking that that bottle or cardboard wrapping will be recycled as opposed to ending up in the dump, spoiling our beautiful landscape. We need to think as to what we are leaving to our children and future generations, will it be a polluted and dirty world covered in landfill sites? Regarding the time spent doing this, it is a matter of organisation. If you are a working mum/dad, you could show your kids what to do with the bottles so that it is up to them to rinse them, take bottle tops themselves and put them into the blue bin? It is all to do with education, which starts in the family and later at school, we need to educate our people on the reasons why to recycle materials. The Council must make sure that the correct message is going out to our people as to why to recycle, what happens to those materials, what to put into each bin, when the bins are to be collected, etc. I think that communication and education is the key to this campaign. If the Council wants to get it right, it must make sure that there is no confusion as to the above points.
“On the other hand, regarding the concerns over not having the grey bin collected for two weeks, I again feel that it makes sense, if we are serious about recycling. If my blue bin is on average full before every fortnightly collection, consequently that must mean that less rubbish is going into the grey bin. On the point of the smell and contents of the rubbish sitting for two weeks, I would encourage our reader to acquire a compost bin from the Council so that she can put into it bio-degradable materials and also to keep rubbish tightly stored into plastic bags. It is true though, that in the summer months, there may be an issue of smell and possibly flies (I can say I have not noticed that in mine). Householders should (where possible) position their bins avoiding South so as to prevent the bin from heating up.
“The following suggestions may help increase recycling levels in the Borough, as follows:
–Putting pressure on producers of packaging such as Tesco and the Co-Op so that they reduce the amount of plastic/cardboard/polystyrene packaging and encourage their customer to re-use shopping bags.
–Bringing the recycling campaign out on the streets and schools with recycling initiatives. This could include the distribution of compost bins there and then.
–Providing more recycling points throughout Larne Town so that the general public can dispose of recyclable materials such as glass bottles, paper and cardboard. This may also encourage small businesses to recycle their waste by using those facilities.
–Household batteries (already being collected at Redlands) pose a serious threat to the environment and the Council should campaign for their collection, by providing local electrics shops with battery collection containers which the Council would then collect and get recycled. This has already been done in other EU countries for over a decade.
“A recycling initiative may only be successful if there is commitment from the population, businesses and the Council itself to re-use, reduce and recycle. Larne Council should do comparative research into recycling initiatives in other parts of Europe which are well ahead of us and learn from them.”