For a week or so now, new recycling guidance leaflets have been delivered to residents of Walsall Borough by the council. There has been a degree of justified concern expressed that the authority appear to have limited the range of material one can now recycle – particularly plastics.
After a week of largely ignoring our enquiries on Twitter (Walsall seems not to be too bothered about it’s once revolutionary Twitter presence now they’ve got the shiny awards), the authority finally answered today. It seems the range of stuff that can be recycled is wider than the leaflet suggests.
Pelsall blogger and top journalist Jayne Howarth has rounded all the information, including the councils reply in an article posted on her site, Common People. Rather than rehash it here, I thought it best just to link to Jayne’s post.
For comparison, top Walsall geek and data genius behind the automation of The YamYam, Paul Daniel, found a leaflet issued in 2009 which can be viewed by clicking here.
It’s nice to see Pelsall Councillor Marco Longhi is also taking a positive, pro-active stance.
It seems clear from the discussion that the recycling service is being troubled by some misuse, with non-recyclables and contaminated refuse being thrown in with the good stuff, and to a certain extent I can see the problem. However, it is beyond the scope of many residents to differentiate types and grades of plastic, so issuing even more finicky guidelines seems to be a mistake to me. All it will do is scare those who use the service conscientiously, more than likely into sending recyclable material to landfill, whilst those abusing it won’t bother with the leaflet anyway.
This leaflet – I’m still to receive one, but Brownhills is often last – is a spectacular mis-fire, as is the complete neglect of enquiries to the council about it (and other issues) via social media this week. This isn’t boding well for the future of the recycling system or the council on social media – both were formerly great services that seem to be becoming somewhat pared back.
I hope this isn’t a portent.