Is Lack Of Communication Responsible For Poor Recycling Rates In Stoke-on-Trent?

Hidden away in a press release informing residents of Stoke-on-Trent of changes to bin collections days over the festive period, if you read past the dates, you will see that cardboard can no longer placed in to brown bins.

Almost as an after thought the couple of lines reads

Residents are also being advised that from Monday 2 January 2012 they will no longer be able to dispose of cardboard in their brown bin. After this date people will need to put cardboard in their blue bin. If a brown bin contains cardboard after January 31 2012 the owner will receive a contamination notice and their bin will not be emptied.

These changes are due to a change in the quality standard of compost which can be adversly affected by the presence of printed cardboard. In light of the change in quality standards, in July the company which takes compostable waste from Stoke-on-Trent City Council informed the counil that they would no longer be accepting cardboard.

While Stoke-on-Trent City Council, pass this important information on to residents almost as an after thought, other councils who use the same company for the compostable waste have taken more high profile action to make sure their residents are aware of the changes.

Derbyshire Dales District Councils delivered leaflets to the 33,000 homes across the Dales back in August explaining that cardboard material be transferred from the compostable waste collection into the dry recycling collection.

Staffordshire Moorlands Cabinet met and agreed to begin communicating the changes to residents via leaflets to all households and roadshows  around the area with Moorlands Radio back in September.

In Stoke-on-Trent some 86,000 (76%) of households  are on the enhanced recycling scheme with grey, blue & brown bins and have had no communication about where their cardboard needs to go other than those few lines in the press release.

As for the rest of the city who have a small green box for glass and metal and a blue bag for paper. There is no mention anywhere about cardboard recycling if you are not on the enhanced scheme. In fact the instructions on the side of the green box make it very clear that you are not to put cardboard in this box. The What Can I put In My Bin page on the council website backs up this instruction not to put cardboard in your green box.

Then the Changes To Your Recycling Collections page on the council website says you can leave cardboard with your green bin.

So what do you do with plastics  if you don’t have a blue bin? Well according to the What Can I Put In My Bin page, if you don’t have a blue bin then all you can do is put it in the waste for incineration or landfill.

But if you phone the council and speak to someone in the enviromental directorate you will find out that you can in-fact put plastics in your green box as well as cardboard.

We have reported many times in the past about how poor the recycling rates are in the city and questioned the recycling method but this is something far simpler, it is just a case of providing information to people.

If you are on the enhanced recycling scheme it is easy as you have 3 bins, if your not on this scheme and only have the green box and blue bag, the chances are you have been putting plastic and cardboard in with the household waste for incineration which is why according to council figures, 51% of our household waste still goes to the incinerator and 10% to landfill.

Thanks to Ian Norris for providing some of the information in this post

Community Voice Conference Announced on Environment and Community Safety

Community Voice have organised on of the first open, public* policy meetings in Stoke-on-Trent for many years.

The meeting is being held on Tuesday 19 October 2010, 6.30pm, Windsor Room, Civic Centre, Glebe Street in Stoke.

A presentation on the current state of two issues in Stoke-on-Trent:

a] Crime and Community Safety

b] Environment

This will be followed by an open debate.


“This is a wonderful opportunity for residents to tell us what they really think about these issues and what we should be doing about them”.

“These are the two issues many people tell us concerns them the most, and what most people complain about to councillors”.

“Community Voice wants to fight for policies that we know the people out there really want, they are welcome to come to our Policy Conference and tell us directly. This is a first for Stoke-on-Trent – never before has a political party giving such direct influence on its policies”.

“We said we are about putting communities first, and now we are putting that into action. I hope people will get involved by coming along and having their say, or sending us information about what they want to see Community Voice doing.

Residents can either come along to the meeting or can send views directly to us via:

contact@communityvoice.co.uk

*N.B. CV reserve the right to exclude individuals from the meeting where necessary

Taking Stock of Stoke

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Federation of the towns that became Stoke on Trent. In this centenary year some of us who write for Pits n Pots are asking question s about the future direction of the City.

The changes in the last 50 years of the City have been more profound than the first fifty even with the involvement of this country in two World Wars. Since 1960 there has been 100,000 job losses in the traditional industries of pottery, steel and mining. There has been in the influx of immigrants from the New Commonwealth, the changes of population as the city has suffered from middle class flight and the weakening of many of the communities, which face unemployment, poverty and the rise in anti social disorder.

There has been something in the region of 19 national government initiative to arrest the decline of the City and there have been new industries emerging from the ruins of de industrialisation. After 100 years it is about time to take stock of Stoke.

On the subject of anniversaries it is also the 10th anniversary of the report that Lord Rodgers wrote on urban renewal and what he envisaged the typical city to look at reflecting on the organic nature of the City.

ï‚· Stress the importance of good design

ï‚· Residents should be more directly in making the key decisions about priorities for services and how they should be delivered within local areas.

ï‚· Agree a vision for growth areas based on strengthening
Existing urban areas, the retention of neighbourhood
communities and the provision of good public transport.

ï‚· Exploit all opportunities for an urban renaissance by
taking a brownfield first approach, including in growth
areas, and recognise the continuing substantial role of
windfall sites in contributing to land supply and of urban
capacity studies in identifying future opportunities.

ï‚· Increase the share of new building on brownfield sites
across the country by establishing a new target for an
average 75% of residential development across all
England’s regions to be on previously developed land by
2010, supported by varying targets for brownfield use in
Regional Spatial Strategies to reflect regional differences
in supply and demand.

ï‚· Draw on local community views by making character
assessments of historic and landscape value compulsory
and integral to regional and sub-regional planning and
the development of growth areas.

“¢ Raise the minimum density standard for new residential
development to 40 dwellings per hectare, subject to
exceptional circumstances, and extend the “density
direction”, which requires all lower density housing
development to be notified to the Government Regional
Office for possible call-in, from three to all English
regions.

“¢ Increase investment in the creation and long term
management of green infrastructure and open spaces
in growth areas and areas of existing deficiency.

“¢ Ensure sustainability not only lies at the root of original
design concepts, but is followed as a philosophy through
to deconstruction.

“¢ Support innovation and investment in environmental
infrastructure ““ including zero waste, combined heat
and power and sustainable urban drainage schemes.

“¢ Place an energy efficiency obligation on developers that
matches the obligation placed on utilities.

“¢ Recognise the huge energy and recycling potential
embodied by our 22 million existing homes, the vast
majority of which are structurally sound and potentially
re-usable

Some of us are wondering how the structure for the renewal of Stoke in its second century of existence can be carried forward and how an agenda for the development of the area can be progressed.

I would be interested in ideas.

Local Stream Cleaned – People Power

Stream Cleaned – Phase1

Today I went back to the stream in Newcastle under Lyme and began cleaning it.

I borrowed a litter picker off a local school and bought some rubber gloves and binbags at Aldi. I knew there was quite a bit of litter in the stream but I wasn’t prepared for just how much.


The Pool was a bit more than a foot deep
It has effectively been dammed by bricks and rubble so the water was just sitting in a basin, and due to all the rubbish, was just a cess pool. So, I moved a lot of the bricks and rubble from the shallow water and placed them in the deeper plunge pool part. This makes the plungepool shallower thus moving the water more quickly.

Then I managed to clear rocks and debris from the main stream and get the water flowing faster by deepening parts of the stream bed.Once this was done the stagnant water quickly flowed away.

its so much cleaner now, but for how long I don’t know. I was hoping for some publicity to bring it to the attention of the locals but the local paper seem to have decided not to publish, despite sending out a photographer. So I guess I’ll have to do my own publicity.

Whilst I was there I saw some Pied Wagtails and a Robin playing in the stream.

Just for the record, I did submit the previous article to Newcastle-Under-Lyme Council and they did not respond. So I’ll email this blog post to the local paper, Local websites, Local Councilors and the council environment dept. Because, let’s face it this isn’t an isolated incident is it?

Despite there being quite a lot of litter, it was pretty rewarding work, although I can tell you now, I ache like an old man.

In this photo you can see the water is beginning to clear up a bit, before it was a murky rust filled puddle.

The stream still requires a bit of attention further down but it’s nowhere near as bad as the top part.
Which is now returned to some semblance of health.

Things pulled from the stream today

4 metal bars
A metal spike
a gazillion crisp packets
loads of cider bottles
3 broken wine bottles
Fruit shoot bottles
multiple beer cans
1 mobile phone
1 cigarette lighter
Lots of sweet wrappers
Loads of Plastic bags
Metal grills
1 hubcap
1 bike tyre
1 radiator hose
A lot of rubble and sticks

Why am I doing this?

  • I’m doing this because, it needs to be done
  • I had the privilege of playing in a crystal clear stream when I was growing up.
  • Because the stream should never be allowed to get into this state in the first place
  • It should be cleaned by whoever is responsible for the park
  • Because kids should be able to play near a nice clean stream, instead of a cess filled puddle.
  • To draw awareness to the fact that if we act as citizens, we can clear up any and every problem that blights our communities,
  • You don’t have to wait for someone else to do it, see it’s broken -hate it?, fix it.



View Larger Map

TO ANYONE WHO CARES ENOUGH, AND LIKES WHAT I DID HERE. KEEP YOUR EYE ON YOUR LOCAL AREA, TRY TO PICK UP LITTER WHEN YOU SEE IT, IF YOU SEE IT COLLECTING, CALL THE COUNCIL, IT ONLY TAKES A FEW MINUTES. ITS OUR PLANET LETS TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THE ENVIRONMENT.

Biggles on Biodiversity

Today our Elected Mayor Mark Meredith is speaking at the Regional Annual Biodiversity Conference in Birmingham.

We have asked our regular commenter, occasional contributor and self confessed Tree Huger Biggles to read the speech Mayor Meredith is making and comment on it for PnP.  The text of Mayor Merediths speech can be read here

[Contributed Post] By Biggles

As you may have guessed from previous posts of mine, I work in the environmental sector and I am what is commonly referred to as a “Treehugger”. I make no apology for that; but I am also a realist and a businessman and my views are more often than not tempered by those two things.

As a realist, I realise that I do not know everything, I realise that the sum of all knowledge is beyond my comprehension and that I know remarkably little about many subjects; the majority of subjects if I’m honest.

This world is, however, inhabited by a growing number of people who believe that they do know an awful lot about an awful lot and are quite prepared to spout on about subjects that in reality they have absolutely no knowledge of whatsoever.

Unfortunately, knowledge is often trampled by the stampede of opinion; to the detriment of us all.

Why this intro, you may ask? Well, it’s because as I write our Mayor is due to speak at the West Midlands Regional Biodiversity Conference in Birmingham on a subject he clearly has no understanding of.

His topic is “Why we signed the Pledge”.

He isn’t referring to a latent tendency towards alcoholism here; rather he is referring to the West Midlands Biodiversity Pledge signed in November 2008 that commits this City to considering biodiversity in all its decision-making.  This is either a noble commitment or a PR exercise depending upon your degree of cynicism, but if I tell you that the commitment is a legal requirement of Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, you can make your own minds up.

Biodiversity is the word used to describe the richness of a landscape. It is the mix of species not simply the numbers that matter. It is often the case that the most beautiful places in the UK and the rest of the world are all landscapes with the highest level of biodiversity.

As a parent I want my children to have the opportunity to experience the same pleasures in their lives as I have in my life and to me that makes it essential that societies work to protect our natural heritage as much as we do our industrial and social heritage: but I know this is not a universal view.

Setting aside the moral argument for preserving the Natural World for the moment, I would say that Biodiversity matters because throughout the world, societies that have pleasant, green spaces to inhabit tend to be thriving, with lower rates of criminality, drug taking etc. It’s nigh on impossible to determine causal links between the two (although many researchers believe they can) but what is clear is that Governments throughout Europe believe the link (or public opinion) to be sufficiently strong to enshrine the need to protect and improve biodiversity in Law.

Stoke-on-Trent, emerging from its industrial phase into the next phase, demolition & regeneration, is in an interesting and promising situation. It is undoubtedly true that Stoke has many green spaces, much more than the average for a City in the UK and we are clearly blessed by that.

Whether it’s a walk through our Victorian Parks, dodging fishing rods on towpaths or rambling through our nature reserves, Stoke has much to offer. But the quality of these landscapes is actually quite low in biodiversity terms; in this regard, we are still suffering from our industrial past. In saying the quality is low, I mean that the numbers and variety of species present are not as high as they might be; the places are as a result arguably less beautiful and less interesting than they could be. We have many sites that have the potential to be host to much less common species than we currently see, but this will not occur without our help.

Improving biodiversity in Stoke ought to be relatively simple because of the opportunities we have and the sites that already exist. We are not trying to create from scratch here, merely improve upon what we already have.

So it is good that our Elected Mayor is speaking at the Regional Annual Conference but it would be better if he knew what he was talking about and actually spoke about Biodiversity rather than using the opportunity to showcase his “successes”.

The speech points out that the City is crisscrossed by rivers, canals and disused railway lines, providing links for wildlife to move. Whilst this is true, it’s also misleading. Simple linear corridors are often of less value than islands of wildlife friendly “stepping stones”. The reason comes down to the quality of that environment. Sensitive species will not move down narrow linear corridors that are not of themselves suitable environments, especially where these corridors are also intensively used by cyclists and dog walkers.

He also points out that approximately 13% of the City is “managed” greenspace, be it allotments, parks or Nature Reserves. Ironically, allotments value to biodiversity comes when they are abandoned and allowed to grow wild rather than when they are “managed”.  The value of “management” though really comes down to how it is done. Management sympathetic to wildlife is often less expensive than existing management methods; for instance mowing grass to within an inch of its life in our parks is costly and counterproductive for biodiversity; much better to mow some areas less frequently or at higher heights to encourage wildflowers and insects. Less cost, lower carbon, more biodiversity.

Why don’t we do this? Ignorance.

I don’t mean that as insult, it’s simply a statement of fact; none of us can be experts in every field and managing landscapes for wildlife is still not widely understood.

Of course mismanagement plays a part too.

Much of the Mayor’s speech however is only loosely connected to the subject at hand, instead being a list of “successes”.

Some of the real successes that are relevant get remarkably little coverage either in the speech or in the local press or indeed on the Council website. The education initiatives are worthy, Forest Schools, School Holiday Clubs and events, a Natural England funded project called Natural Connections; but are participation levels as high as they might be?

Take a look at the Council website and you’ll struggle to find anything other than a reference to the Call Centre. Our Council does much that is worthy of criticism but it also seems so busy with “spin” that it’s few real successes are overlooked.

One success was securing funding from English Nature to set up Local Nature Reserves and a number of reserves were set up in 2004 and Friends of Groups established. Take a look at the website, very poor, very little current publicity and no real attempt to get people involved beyond that initial effort.

Take the recent initiative to spruce up the Kingsway and to plant new trees. Many comments on the Sentinel website were along the lines that it would not have been necessary had the Council maintained the previous planting scheme and not allowed it to degenerate as it had. Other comments were about the irony of this announcement only months after the Council uprooted several mature trees to plant a steel one.

It’s hard to think of much that this Council has done in recent years to improve the biodiversity of our City and it’s rather disappointing therefore that Mayor Meredith feels he can speak authoritatively on the subject.

Stoke is a relatively green City in a beautiful part of the UK. We have more green spaces than most other Cities. We have passionate people (take a look at TAG, whether you agreed with them or not, they showed that Stoke folk have commitment in bucketloads). We have the right basis to start from.

We have the potential to show the rest of the UK what a biodiverse City can be, thriving, interesting, healthy and a pleasure to live in; a place where people would wish to live, not leave; a place where people wish to do business, but to get there we would need a plan, a commitment from the public, and a Council capable of inspiring, communicating and managing that plan.

I’d like to think this could happen; but being a realist, I’m fairly confident it won’t.

Recycling Good, Everything Else Bad? [Contributed Post]

A post about recycling from one of our regular site visitors Biggles.
The debate on recycling is not a clear and simple one that most people would believe. The general belief is “Recycling Good, Everything Else Bad, and for the most part this is true. But nothing in life is entirely black and white and that holds true for waste management and recycling also. There are very different ways of achieving a desired end result and what may be right in one area is not necessarily right in all.

The debate on recycling is not a clear and simple one that most people would believe. The general belief is “Recycling Good, Everything Else Bad, and for the most part this is true. But nothing in life is entirely black and white and that holds true for waste management and recycling also. There are very different ways of achieving a desired end result and what may be right in one area is not necessarily right in all. Also what may seem right for this Council may not be right for the people or indeed our planet. I’ll give you some background to where we are and hopefully not bore you all before I’ve finished.

The basic drive for increased recycling comes from Europe;

The Landfill Directive states targets for reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill sites in the UK. The targets are:

  • By 2010, the waste sent to landfills should be 75% of that sent in 1995
  • By 2013, the waste sent to landfills should be 50% of that sent in 1995
  • By 2015, the waste sent to landfills should be 35% of that sent in 1995

In order to achieve this directive, “ËœWaste Strategy 2007′ introduced the following targets for waste recovery.

  • recycling and composting of household waste ““ at least 40% by 2010, 45% by 2015 and
  • 50% by 2020; and
  • recovery of municipal waste ““ 53% by 2010, 67% by 2015 and 75% by 2020 (municipal includes waste from offices, factories etc)

Recovery was recently re-defined to include composting, so the target facing our Council is to achieve 40% recycling by 2010, not so far away. “Recycling” does not include the use of waste as a fuel, so the waste to energy plant does not count towards this target. In many quarters the sense of this is being questioned as recycling does have a carbon footprint and local solutions tend to be better than export. However, that’s a whole other argument.

The Council for now has a legal obligation to achieve a recycling rate of 40% and to reduce waste sent to landfill to 75% of that sent to landfill in 1995 by 2010. Failure to do so will incur fines, currently £105/tonne.

So recycling is good for the environment, it’s a legal obligation and it will cost us money if we don’t do it. So why all the arguing? Well, it’s because of how our Council has chosen to recycle.

Recycling uses many processes. Basically, paper, plastic, cardboard, cans, glass etc are sent to industrial type reprocessors for reprocessing into feedstock materials for new products. Green waste and food waste (and possibly cardboard) are treated biologically, either composted in in-vessel composting plants (known as IVC) or digested in anaerobic digesters (known as AD).

Paper, plastic etc.
The argument here is about the manner of collection. Basically there are three distinct ways to collect what is known as “dry” recyclables.
1. Â   Kerbside
2. Â   Twin Stream
3. Â   Co-Mingled

Stoke currently does kerbside collections. This refers to the fact that the materials are sorted out at the kerbside on the collecting vehicle by hand. This produces the highest quality material with the lowest level of contaminants.

At the other extreme is co-mingled where everything is mixed together in one vehicle and delivered to a MRF (Materials Recycling Facility) and sorted by machine with some hand picking. This produces the lowest quality material with a high level of contamination.

In the middle is what the Council is now proposing. Twin stream, refers to the fact that there will be mixed  collections of dry recyclables but that there will be some separation with plastics, glass and tins being in one stream and paper, cardboard and textiles in another stream. In theory this is much better as it separates the glass and paper which are very sensitive to contamination.

The level of contamination of glass is so high in the UK that almost no glass collected from household (as opposed to bottle banks) goes into making new bottles; instead it goes to making aggregate for construction. There are number of issues with this, firstly how much aggregate are we going to need in a recession? But also, from a purist point of view, we’re not recycling like for like. The main benefit of recycling is that it displaces the need to produce new goods from raw materials, currently collections of glass from households does not do this. Twin stream materials sent to a dirty MRF are also likely to be downgraded in quality by the process.

The re-processing companies have been increasingly concerned over UK Councils’ drive to low cost collections and the subsequent dive in quality seen as a result. Stoke is guilty of this also, moving one level down the quality ladder with its new proposal.

Late last year the recycling markets collapsed entirely and for several weeks no cardboard or plastic could be sold, either within the UK or overseas. That has partly resolved itself now, but the effect has been a desire for quality. Low grade materials cannot be sold still. The reprocessors have set up their own pressure group, The Campaign for Real Recycling, to tackle this issue and to persuade Govt and Councils to search for quality solutions rather than cheap solutions as, in the long run, these will be much less risky for Councils.

Stoke also has a problem peculiar to Stoke. We have a waste to energy plant. The waste to energy plant converts the waste to heat and electricity for a very low gate fee. However the gate fee is dependent on a calculation that takes into account the tonnage and the calorific value of the waste being sent to the plant. The recycling proposals will take out the high calorific value wastes; paper, plastic and cardboard and also reduce the tonnage. The effect will be to increase the cost per tonne of the residual waste being sent to the plant.  Environmentally it will also see an increase in fossil fuel usage to generate the heat and electricity that would otherwise be produced by the plant. But, our Council plans to bring in waste from other Counties to make up the shortfall, while we send ours to Kent.

Green and food waste.
AD produces biogas which can be burnt in engines to produce green electricity and heat. These are subject to Govt subsidy and are very profitable for organisations running them. AD is not a new process, it’s been around for decades and Severn Trent Water has over 30 AD Plants generating electricity from the biogas. The plant at Strongford near Trentham generates over 2MWe of electricity from Stoke’s leavings.

AD is subject to a fairly intensive Govt push at present; the energy companies, in particular the National Grid sees this as a way of securing supply of electricity and some fairly major grants are available to operators developing AD on municipal waste. AD is also good for the environment having a very low carbon footprint and producing a clean sterile Digestate that has a value to farmers as fertilizer, particularly when oil prices are high or rising.

IVC on the other hand is fairly new and has a mixed history in the UK with many plants functioning perfectly, but with a couple of horror stories also. As a process it emits more CO2 than AD and does not produce green electricity and therefore has lower revenues. The capital cost of IVC compared to AD is lower but when a lifecycle comparison is done the revenues from the sale of electricity make AD the most cost effective option as well as the most environmentally friendly.

IVC is also higher cost than open windrow composting as Stoke currently does it. Interestingly the Councils forecast saving of £1.3 million doesn’t take account of this increased cost which can be around £10-£15/tonne. However, open windrow composting plants are not allowed to take food waste.

Stoke City Council’s Proposals
In July 2006 the City Council produced a report on recycling, following on from a Task and Finish Group investigation. The final recommendations including a number of things;

1. Â   A recycling target of 50% by 2010 (note; 10% above the legal obligation)
2. Â   Issue tenders for material processing including in vessel composting
3. Â   Introduce food waste collections once a facility becomes available.

In November 2008 the Council issued a tender or rather a (Pre Qualification Questionnaire) through OJEU for interested parties to supply an IVC facility within Stoke on Trent. Ten companies responded but no follow up action was taken by the Council. The process to develop a plant is lengthy, planning and permitting can proceed side by side, but in any event it would take around 1year to gain permission to develop, with at least 6 months thereafter in construction. November 2008 was already too late.
An alternative to IVC had been proposed by a number of sources which was AD, either as a full scale plant or alternatively to handle the food waste only and to continue to use the low cost existing composting facility at Acton.

However, the IVC option had already been given Council approval back in 2006, it was the lowest cost collection option (although the highest lifecycle cost option) and so the Council continued down this route.

The current proposals are to collect green waste and food waste together (which rules out continuing to use the existing composting plant at Acton) and to collect dry recyclables in a twin stream system.  There are a number of problems with the proposals which arise, in my view, from a lack of experience of waste disposal amongst the officers whose experience is all in waste collection (Bin Wagons). The solutions chosen are all aimed at lowest cost COLLECTION and the budget figures presented to Council are incredibly light on Disposal costs/revenues.

The twin stream collection could, if managed properly (and therein lies the problem), produce high quality materials that will fetch reasonable prices, although maybe not the highest prices in the market. However, how the twin stream materials are treated once they’ve left the Council is key to the success or otherwise of this. The current plan is to bulk transport the materials to a Viridor site in Kent. This site will handle circa 100,000 tonnes of materials from many sources, but importantly exists to serve the export markets, the very markets that collapsed in December. Despite the method of collection the material will be perceived by buyers as low quality because it will be seen as being produced by this so called dirty MRF, rather than by Stoke City Council.

Why are we doing this when there are local outlets? Cardboard from Hanford and Burslem currently travels as far as Campbell Road to a UK company who use it in paper mills in Birmingham. The furthest that plastic from these sites has travelled is to a UK manufacturer of plastic products in Rotherham.
On the green waste issue, setting aside for a moment the utter farce that is currently unfolding, is IVC the correct choice for the Council? Should we not have a local facility developed under contract to the Council?

My belief is that the Council have been lazy and not responded to massive changes n the market in the last two years. AD is now clearly the technology of choice for green and food waste. It is supported by capital grants and electricity subsidies, the Environment Agency are promoting it as Best Practice, even the Composting Association has recently changed its name to Organics Recycling to avoid being marginalized.

AD, given the right contract, could provide the Council with a local facility, reducing the need for transport outside of the county, reduced carbon footprint and potentially a share of revenue from the sale of green electricity.

Last summer I attended a seminar on AD hosted by Wardell Armstrong (Festival Park). There were Councils present from all over the Country, as well as representatives from all of the major waste disposal companies. Stoke City Council were specifically invited to attend but chose not to.

The point here is that AD is the best technology, there are a number of organisations in Stoke that have vast experience in AD and utilisation of biogas and yet our Council chooses not to listen to them.

The proposals and the current trial are based on decisions made when the markets were very different. The Council has refused to review those decisions and has failed utterly to implement them in a timely manner. The result is that very little time is now left for us to meet the targets set by Govt. and in all probably whatever the Council do now we will fail to meet those targets.

I believe we should face facts, accept we’re going to miss them and take time to review where we are and what the best solutions will be. That doesn’t mean the cheapest collection solutions but an integrated holistic approach to waste management that will provide us with low cost, environmentally friendly and importantly, robust, low risk solutions.

Thanks to Biggles for taking the time to submit this article for posting.  What do you think is recycling good or bad?