Monday, May 24, 2010

Redbridge Rubbish

I’ve been delving into Household Waste. Not literally you understand, that would be unhygienic, I’ve been looking at the figures. Something was nagging away at the back of my mind. The headline figure, as a result of government targets, is the percentage Recycled, and I am worried that this is taking our eye off the other aspect which is Reducing the amount of waste we produce in the first place. This has quite an impact on the Council budget and therefore Council Tax, through the Landfill Tax.

So the first thing is to find out what is included in the Household Waste figures and what is in Municipal Waste. Well, obviously anything collected by the Council from households, from bins, black bags, recycling boxes and Green Bags is all Household Waste. But that’s it. Astonishingly, I am told, any recycling from what are known as the “Bring Sites”, public recycling points like in Craven Gardens car park and Chigwell Recycling and Reclamation Centre are not included in the Household Waste figures. So, we are actually recycling more than the headline figure suggests. At Chigwell RRC things like White Goods, Electrical equipment, Cardboard, Heavy plastics, metals, tyres, wood, batteries, fluorescent tubes etc. are all recycled or reclaimed. For those in the south of the borough there is Jenkins Lane who operate much the same way. It’s in Newham but Redbridge residents are entitled to use it. We are both part of the East London Waste Authority.

So to the figures:
__Year__No. HouseholdsHH Residual Waste TonnesRecycled Composted TonnesTotal HH Waste TonnesTonnes of HH waste per HH per year

The first thing to note is that the big drop between 2005/6 and 2006/7 is due to a waste reclassification exercise when things like rubble/inert material were all re-classified as non-household. Generally we can see that there is a gradual reduction in waste per household, but hold on, the last figure for 2009/10 was an outturn estimate. The latest figure I have been given is 0.908, or 908 Kgs per household with 31% of that being recycled. That’s quite a drop [and it includes a big increase in Green waste] and I’d like to see these figures given equal publicity in publications like Redbridge Life to encourage further reductions.

But it’s still way too high. That’s 626Kg per household per year going to landfill. That’s the equivalent in weight of 626 bags of sugar or 12 bags of sugar a week. And that’s an average. I estimate that I put out less than 1 tenth of that in black bags and about a half of the average for recycling. Mind you, I do take all my cardboard and DIY waste over to Chigwell RRC.

So, it looks like the council has still got a way to go in educating some of its residents.

Next question. How much Municipal Waste is recycled and is the total being reduced?


  1. Of course, if you see something at the municipal dump that you could use, you are not allowed to take it, ie recycle it, because according to EU law, once it has been deposited at the tip, it is now WASTE and must be disposed of by the powers that be.


  2. I don't know what happens now, but certainly in the pre-Shanks days "totting" was not unknown.

  3. 'Elf 'n safety, Judith!

  4. Richard Cooper3:12 pm, May 31, 2010

    Have you received the blue-box? Now as you should be aware we at the real Riverside Concern travel the length and breadth of the U.K. in our quest to broaden our knowledge and transfer our knowledge to others?
    Who said "Geeks" - "Anoraks"?
    The blue-boxes that have just arrived in Redbridge are so way-behind others towns it beggars belief.
    The most efficient recycling areas are in Scotland - where they recycle everything.
    In Clackmannanshire for instance, they have recently issued a card to all households which allows them access to the recycling depots - to control the recycling even further.
    However, here in Redbridge they seem (looking for correction if appropriate) not to make the recycling easy, just a few item-categories - card-board, old electrical equipment, light-bulbs, noxious liquids, gas-bottles, health-dressings (where the social services and/or NHS do not provide a regular wound-dressing service. Plant materials in type - (Redbridge seem to lump everything together which makes any resulting "compost" which is often toxic or hazardous to a wide range of plants - anyone wondered why some plants can not grow in these "composts"? Now you know.
    So - when will Redbridge, TowerHamlets, Newham and the conglomerate recycle group in order to supplement to Council Tax. Mind you they do have "captive cars" to fleece in many new ways.
    Gloves need for this 'Food For Thought'.
    Richard Cooper
    For Riverside Concern (Worldwide).

  5. Doing the 'right' thing when recycling is a nightmare. Should I agonise to decide if the 2-litre plastic bottle of corn oil is recyclable or not and, if it is should I waste large quantities of detergent and hot water to clean the inside, then more detergent and hot water to clean the sink or should I just stick the bottle in the general rubbish and forget about it, which thankfully is not that often?
    Disposal of cooking oil is another known nightmare. Not for me anymore: don't cook frites no more!

  6. I have just attempted to read Richard's post to my wife - who has green (with a small "g") sympathies - but with considerable difficulty - because of the way it is written. Attempting to read it oneself was bad enough but, to a third party? Forget it!

    What on earth are "captive cars" ...?

    Could we please have a translation in English ...?

  7. Knowise asked: "What on earth are "captive cars" ...?"

    I wonder whether they are "voitures prisonieres", or prison transport......

  8. Richard's posts are the Champagne of posts!
    Anyway, captive cars, I think, are like a captive audience. Should you have a car on the road, you will pay even if you don't put fuel in it. (me!)
    Should you take the car shopping, it might become even more expensive than the wife!(not moi!)

  9. Champagne! Brut or demi-sec? Blanc de noirs? Only from Epernay and Reims, of course!!