SIR – New Forest District Council have embarked on a Draft Waste Strategy which was endorsed by cabinet on 4th November 2020. Although classed as a draft, it appears the only option is wheelie bins to be the introduced to the New Forest area.

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Copythorne Parish Council unanimously rejected the wheelie bin option and, instead, offered another solution – re-useable bags for the various categories of waste. These have been used with success for garden waste, why not for other waste?

A number of questions were put to the waste team, most of which involved the additional costs of the new proposed wheelie bin proposal compared to the existing system.

All of the questions regarding costs were answered by: “We have yet to establish these costs.”

This is very disappointing and extremely difficult for householders to express a balanced view on the proposals without these costs being available.

In the interests of openness and transparency, answers to these and other questions should have already been formulated.

If this half-completed report does not contain the necessary answers to reasonably raised questions, the public consultation period should be extended until they are provided.

Increased recycling is required but why is there no Plan B – the use of reusable bags?

Steve Herra,
Winsor

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1 COMMENT

  1. I have already raised these questions. I questioned why all roads led to wheelie bins; Why weren’t coloured bags considered? Why were Bring Bins going to be removed rather than providing more of them? Why was no consideration given to reverse vending machines that issue vouchers in return for cans/bottles/cartons instead of spending £800,000 on new bin lorries?

    If the purpose of the Strategy was to increase recycling, why are we aspiring to emulate other Hampshire Councils where the maximum recycling rate was only 45% and concluding that that rate was because of wheelie bins? A bit like early Ford cars, you can have any colour you like as long as it’s black.

    I have no problem with trying to increase our recycling rate but the whole Strategy is flawed with no alternatives being considered.

    15 years ago, Hampshire County Council invested in incinerators to move away from landfill. This gives rise to a number of questions. The bottom ash is recycled for use as aggregates in road construction so why isn’t that included in our recycling rates? Answer…it would only add 4% to our recycling rates and if it was added to NFDC’s recycling rate, it could be added to all Hampshire Councils’ recycling rates so what’s the point? The point is it would better reflect the recycling rate in Hampshire. A chat with Mr Google shows that Wales DOES include bottom ash in its recycling rate and does in fact add 5.5% to its recycling rate. Why isn’t NFDC and Hampshire pursuing this?

    When asked about the time to recover the costs of providing wheelie bins we were told 20 years. What with the cost of the new lorries as well, that doesn’t sound very cost effective to me.

    One final word with regards to food waste collection.

    Frank Pearson, a Councillor for Winchester City, is reported as saying: “Food waste collections were not cost-effective when compared with incineration. The material collected would have to be shipped outside the county and gate fees for anaerobic digestion are high.” He added “The situation would change if an anaerobic digestion plant was built in Hampshire.” It would seem to me that before NFDC invests in waste food collection boxes, we should heed Councillor Pearson’s words.

    So many unanswered questions not least the costing of different types of collection for different parts of the District and different properties.

    We heard from an Officer from Devon extolling their waste collection service. It really did sound like a dystopian society. Certainly not for me nor I hope for the New Forest. (Google their penalties)

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