Householders urged not to throw taxpayers’ cash in the bin

Householders are being urged to help save taxpayers’ money by paying special attention to precisely what they throw in their bins.

Cllr Warren Whyte, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and the Environment, says significant amounts of cash can be saved if people take the time to find out exactly how to dispose of all of their rubbish.

This is now particularly important because the new Energy from Waste (EfW) plant at Greatmoor, north Bucks is now beginning to burn household refuse.

“We know the public are doing a brilliant job as far as recycling is concerned, but we also know there are still many opportunities forimprovement,” said Cllr Whyte.

“For instance, people are still not always sorting their waste into the right containers. Getting it right is good for the environment but if people get it wrong and throw a recyclable item into the waste bin, then it has to go to landfill . This is a ‘double whammy’ of less recycling and more cost.

“Some waste, however, simply will not be suitable for burning at Greatmoor so we need householders to get it right so staff don’t end up having to spend time pulling unsuitable items out before reaching the EfW facility.”

He added: “As has been well publicised recently, this is a very difficult financial time for the County Council due to the complete loss of central governmentgrant to Bucksas well as the increase in demand for high-cost servicessuch as those to the county’s elderly and the safeguarding of vulnerable children. Regrettably there is likelyto be a council tax increase recommended to Council this year as a result.

“The Council is doing its utmost to make savings and increase its income, but the public could do its bit as well by saving money on unnecessary waste.”

Just before Christmas, for instance, officials saw a significant load of glass bottles and jars being tipped into the waste transfer station at High Heavens in High Wycombe.

Cllr Whyte explained: “Clearly, someone had made an error and dumped their glass into the bin for generalhousehold refuse when it should have gone into another container and recycled.

“Although the districts and county recycling rates have massively improved, this kind of thing is still happening too often.”

Last year, the overall recycling rate in Buckinghamshire was around 57%, meaning residents recycle and re-use more than they throw away. The aim is to hit 60% in the near future.

He added: “The difficulty will be that certain types of waste will simply not be able to go in to the EfW plant and be incinerated. There are several reasons for this – for instance some waste can be recycled or disposed of at one of our Household Waste Recycling centres. But if put in a waste bin, it can cause damage to the plant or it could be potentially polluting – or is simply not combustible. Therefore such items will be considered as contamination and have to be removed andtreated in a different way which will be very disruptive and expensive once it reaches Greatmoor or a waste transfer station.”

Procedures may differ across the county because each of the four district councils are responsible for waste collection in their area, and Cllr Whyte urges people to check their own local arrangements.

?More information can be found at,-recycling-and-treatment/household-waste-and-recycling-centres/i-want-to-dispose-or-recycle-or-reduce/