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More recycling - especially paperwork

PUBLISHED: 13:47 30 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

FAMILIES in Suffolk Coastal have another item they can recycle today - a leaflet advising them what they can place in their new brown wheelie bins.

Eight thousand households have received the leaflet telling them to recycle all their uncooked vegetable peelings, fruit skins, tea bags and coffee grounds.

FAMILIES in Suffolk Coastal have another item they can recycle today – a leaflet advising them what they can place in their new brown wheelie bins.

Eight thousand households have received the leaflet telling them to recycle all their uncooked vegetable peelings, fruit skins, tea bags and coffee grounds.

But council officials now say the information is wrong – and only garden waste can be placed in the huge bins.

It's a setback for the council's massive recycling project, a scheme which has left some residents wondering if their council has gone recycling mad with brown wheelie bins, green crates for paper, as well as the black sacks for other rubbish.

In some cases, bins have been delivered to homes with handkerchief-sized lawns and patio gardens and others to homes with larger gardens where people already compost their own garden waste, and the bins will be of little use in winter.

It has already spent around £300,000 of a government grant on the containers and special dustcarts, and now has received £324,000 from the county council to double the size of the green waste project.

Trimley resident Peter Whight has already provoked a stormy reaction on the Evening Star's letters page after accusing recycling-keen councillors of "wasteful brainwaves" and claiming that recycling is "economically pointless".

He said: "We are told the brown bins will be collected fortnightly. With such a short time spell for collection most bins will probably be a quarter to half-full – this means collection crews and vehicles will have a huge spare capacity."

But council officials are convinced recycling is working – removing huge amounts of material which would otherwise be buried at landfill sites.

Deborah Robinson, director of environmental services at Suffolk Coastal, said new European legislation which comes into effect tomorrow restricts green waste that can be used for composting and means food cannot be used.

"These changes mean companies producing compost have to meet tougher rules on the way they make their compost," she said.

"These new rules are intended to guard against any potential risk of contamination of compost from anything that may have been in contact with meat and meat products.

"This rule change is a bit inconvenient for people but should make only a minor change to the total recycling figures. I hope that it will not put off people getting even more passionate about the recycling habit and using their brown bins for all their garden waste."

Now people should only put grass cuttings, weeds, shrub cuttings less than one inch in diameter, dead flowers, old bedding plants, leaves and straw in the brown wheelie bins.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/envhealth/recycleinfo.html

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

factfile:

n Nearly 11,000 homes in Kesgrave, Leiston, the Trimleys, Rushmere and Old Felixstowe have brown wheelie bins, and with the £324,000 from the county council the scheme will be doubled.

n In the first three weeks of the latest expansion of the green waste scheme nearly 110 tonnes of green waste was collected.

n The first four weeks of the new green crate paper collections saw 217 tonnes of paper collected – twice that of the same period last year.

n Around 30pc of rubbish collected in black sacks every week could be composted.

n Suffolk Coastal is aiming to reycle 36pc of all household waste by 2006 to meet government targets.

n An average of over eight pounds (four kg) of paper is collected from every home, 75pc more than last year.

Source: Suffolk Coastal District Council

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