As soon as I saw the paper pod in the recycling wheelie bin, I knew it was too small for my needs (we usually put out a couple of boxes of paper every fortnight). But the message from the Labour Council (both at District meetings and in the wheelie bin literature) was clear. You could only put out what paper would fit in the pod. You had to be able to close the lid on it (so no over flowing allowed) and you were not allowed to leave out any extra paper (side waste). Only cardboard neatly bundled was allowed – NO extra paper.
It seemed so stupid for Labour to change the system where we could put out as much recycling as we liked, to one where we were limited. Bad for the planet, and stupid for the Council since the Council actually makes money out of the paper recycling which goes to the Kappa paper mill in Birmingham.
When I met with officers a few weeks ago, I raised this point again and particularly asked them to allow side waste of paper.
It seems my complaint about the small size of the pod was not the only one. People from Waste Watch (apparently on behalf of Amey, on behalf of the Council) are going round knocking on doors in the pilot wards (wonder what that’s costing?) and as of this week they are now telling householders that they CAN leave out extra paper beside the recycling wheelie bin after all, providing it is neatly tied up. I know, because they told me that this afternoon. I understand it was also said at the Brandwood ward meeting last week too.
The reason for this change of heart is apparently because they have had so many complaints that the paper pod is too small. Which was obvious from the start – to everyone except the Labour Council it seems!
I understand also that there is a design problem with the paper pod in the small recycling bin. Once the pod has been taken out for emptying, and dropped back in, you cannot make the lid shut unless the pod is then pulled forward. But if people don’t know this, they’re left with a bin which has a lid which won’t shut, and if you don’t shut your wheelie bin lid, the Council won’t empty it.
There are full wheelie bins with lids open, and rubbish overflowing, which have been left in both Lordswood Rd and Gillhurst Rd today. Which means those householders will presumably have to take their rubbish to the tip, or they will have no room for next week’s rubbish. Can’t imagine they’ll be very pleased about that. Especially if they don’t have a car.