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Household Recycling

February 17th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Kerbside recycling of household waste got off to a shaky start here in Bolton with some properties not given recycling containers while properties in the neighbouring street were (a farcical situation which still exists at our old address). The council also tried to reduce the non-recyclable waste collection to fortnightly without first providing sufficiently large bins for recyclable waste – an issue on which the previous council administration lost power in the local election.

I must say however that household recycling now works very well for us.

Four bins

4 binsWe now have four bins for waste collection:

  • Crimson for plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, tin cans, drinks cans, aerosols and tin foil;
  • Beige for paper, magazines, cardboard and drinks cartons;
  • Green for garden and uncooked kitchen vegetable waste*;
  • Black for non-recyclable or ‘residual’ waste.

Oddly, according to letters in the local paper, this is somehow confusing for some folk.

The black bin is emptied every week, while the others are emptied once a fortnight. As a family of four, even with this frequency we find that we usually only need to put the recyclable bins out once a month and often find that we can skip a week on the collection of the black residual bin.


Although the green bin meant that the amount of kitchen waste going into the black bin was reduced*, we found that we had a problem with fruit flies and smells in the green bin, especially in the summer.

composterWe decided to buy a composter and settled on a ‘dalek’ type. This means that we can also dispose of other items such as eggshells and teabags which would otherwise have gone in the black bin. Unlike the green bin, you can wrap the kitchen waste in newspaper to reduce the problem of fruit flies. I would recommend doing some reading up on composting as you need to keep a balance between what are called ‘greens’ and ‘browns’.

We have been using this for over eighteen months now and have yet to take anything out of it; it just keeps rotting down. The green bin is now hardly used expect for larger garden items such as pruned branches.

So what about other stuff?

Not everything can be collected at the kerbside but used or redundant items can still be recycled or reused. Used batteries go to the local Asda who have a collection point for recycling. Anything that we no longer need but is still serviceable, particularly children’s toys and clothes, are taken to charity shops or sold. I’ve even sold a 32″ widescreen TV with a picture fault on ebay; I’d rather see someone else get use out of it whether for spares or by getting it repaired. Clothing that is worn out is usually turned into rags for use in the garage.

* I have since read a letter in the Bolton News, stating that the council are telling people that the green bin is not to be used for kitchen vegetable waste, except that the Council’s own Waste & Recycling website clearly states in the A-Z under ‘V for Vegetable Waste’ that uncooked fruit and vegetable kitchen waste can be put in your green bin. (Screenshot here in case their website is down, which is often the case)

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  1. February 20th, 2009 at 01:49 | #1
    Using Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 on Windows Windows Vista

    The world was broken before i got here. All this recycle …………………………rubbish? absolute………………s***e………….. pardon the puns. What if i go to tesco and then on the scanning of said products purchased, I then leave the packaging at the check out for THEM!!! to recycle?, do you think it would be done by them?
    I recall a day maybe two………..when I was a young lad and the bin men worked hard for the wages. One man ( note the ONE MAN ) would come up our drive at 8:30 and go around the back to pick up the bin ( no bloody wheels ) and place it over his shoulder( phsyically lift it above his head…….. POSSIBLY more than 25kg) to be carried ( note the word carried) to the front on the street. I and a few friends at 8:45 would casually walk to school and if we felt a tad mischievious we would kick a couple bins over in the street (no proud thing to do but HEY!!!!!! that was the 70’s) and on our return home…………….. NOT!!!!! a bloody drop of rubbish in the gutter or on the kerb!!!! The point being that the men worked harder then and got less money! lazy B$!”%&$!” binmen today, that’s what I say. The world’s gone barking bloody mad. Postmen…………… don’t even go there………………..LOL

  2. February 20th, 2009 at 07:27 | #2
    Using Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 on Mac OS X Mac OS X 10

    John, I totally agree with your point about Tesco. I know that one of the Horwich councillors makes the point of removing all the unnecessary packaging at the till and leaving it for them to deal with.

    I also remember the days when a binman walked to the back of your house to lift the bin over his shoulder and put it back too! How the hell did we manage with such a small bin? Because we didn’t have so much useless packaging; no milk cartons/plastic bottles – the milkman took glass bottles back; pop bottles were glass and went back to the shop or pop-man for a return of deposit. We didn’t get so much junk mail and paper & cardboard was burnt on the fire anyway.

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