Crates are great for all sorts

THEY may be crate news if you want to get into the recycling habit, but an even bigger boost for people looking for an unusual plant holder or toybox.For some people seem to be using the new green crates delivered to homes in the Suffolk Coastal area for anything but paper recycling.

By Richard Cornwell

THEY may be crate news if you want to get into the recycling habit, but an even bigger boost for people looking for an unusual plant holder or toybox.

For some people seem to be using the new green crates delivered to homes in the Suffolk Coastal area for anything but paper recycling.

People have told The Evening Star that they are using them as a home for muddy wellies, a toybox for the children, somewhere to store tools, and one man even claimed to have used his as a plant pot!

There is confusion, too, over when to put out the boxes.

Some residents in Trimley St Mary said the refuse collection team said they could not empty the boxes in their dustcart, while other householders in the village have put the boxes out week after week but not had them emptied.

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But Suffolk Coastal council denied there are teething problems with the project and said it is running very well and recycling is increasing.

A council spokesman said around 40,000 of the 50,000 households with crates had always had waste paper collections, though not all of them fortnightly, as now, while 10,000 new homes had been added to the rounds.

Initial feedback showed paper recycling had risen by one-third. Collections were now all up and running and it was hoped the number of people taking part would grow.

The crates – and 8,000 brown wheeled bins for green waste to be collected and turned into compost – have been paid for by a £334,000 government grant.

Only 1,800 homes in the district are not now served by a fortnightly paper collection, although they will be included later this year.

"I would like to offer a big thank you to everyone who has taken part in our new expanded fortnightly paper collection service," said Deborah Robinson, director of environmental services.

"Suffolk Coastal is aiming to recycle 24 per cent of household waste by March 2004, and 36pc by March 2006. We can only achieve this ambitious aim by working in partnership with our residents, and we are making it easier than ever for them to get into the recycling habit."

Anyone who has not received their green recycling crate should call 01394 444745, or e-mail waste.management@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk giving their name, address and postcode.

n How do you use yours? Have you put it to the use it was intended or have you been inventive?

Write to Star Letters, The Evening Star, 30, Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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