SIR — It had to kick off sooner or later down this neck of the woods on just how bad our local authorities are at recycling. I refer to your recent article relating to Christchurch accepting more types of rubbish for recycling.

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Four years ago, my wife and I moved to Hampshire. We came from Monmouthshire where we had got into the full swing of a recycling regime.

It took a couple of years as at the beginning what could be recycled was limited, but with good management and a fair amount of investment, the only things they do not now recycle are crisp packets, plastic bags, cling film and polystyrene.

As a typical householder, we managed to send for recycling between 75 and 80% of what was thrown out. Wales as a whole is now the third best at recycling in Europe. A pat on the back I think. Good management and a proactive approach has produced this result.
Moving down here and in my ignorance, we expected an equally efficient recycling regime.

But no, we were shocked to find that we had inherited a wasteful and out-of-date regime which reflects the attitude of many authorities today, contrary to the image they are trying to portray to the public.

Our personal recycling has gone down to just 45-50% (one or two black bags to one recycling bag) because of the authorities’ inability do the job properly.

Just to put into context how bad things are, here are some facts which are easily verified: out of 351 authorities monitored in 2018, Hampshire County Council came 230th, Southampton came 325th and Portsmouth 338th. Shameful!

If you look at their websites they quote the lack of facilities to process rubbish and the high cost of investing in the necessary equipment etc. etc. for them to do so.
When you consider that we live in one of the better-off regions (overall) of the country, these are very poor excuses.

To my mind it is symbolic of poor management which is lethargic, inward looking and reactive as opposed to proactive, something that I have experienced at first hand with HCC quite recently.

John Walsh
Address supplied

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