Bins: a belated step in the right direction

I WISH to give my support for Cllr Lynda Needham s position with regard to the adjusted fortnightly waste collection scheme. My husband and I have been resident in Royston for 26 years, and in our opinion the town s waste management has never been more i

I WISH to give my support for Cllr Lynda Needham's position with regard to the adjusted fortnightly waste collection scheme.

My husband and I have been resident in Royston for 26 years, and in our opinion the town's waste management has never been more intelligently and effectively organised than it is today.

We remember the days before the advent of the capacious wheelie bin, when we still achieved a minimum of waste - yes, even while our two active children were growing up and waste appeared to be an adjunct of every activity.

The secret of our success is that we consistently and dedicatedly recycle or re-use ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING possible.

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We compost all our organic waste; we put out paper and glass for collection, and accumulate dedicated bags of plastic bottles and containers, cans and other metalware, cardboard, fabrics for transport to the waste recycling centre.

We even have a little low-emission wood burner that keeps our lounge cosy in winter, burning the waste wood we coppice and prune from our trees all year. Even more importantly, we minimise packaging when we shop, deliberately avoiding pre-cooked, pre-packaged meals, triple-packed foodstuffs and the like, and taking our re-usable old-fashioned shopping baskets and bags with us wherever we go.

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As a result our waste bin is seldom more than one-third full when the collection lorry rolls round every fortnight.

In other words, we have always been dedicated to maintaining a low-consumption lifestyle where every item is fully used before being redistributed, and we are not afraid of breaking a sweat in the process.

Consider also the facilities available to the Royston house-holder nowadays. Life is made even easier due to the compostable waste recycling bins we've all been given in addition to the regular bins.

Unlike A Keenan (Postbag, October25) we have never been confronted with "left" waste; collections are always prompt and efficient. Perhaps we've been lucky, but I find it hard to believe that the service could be so variable across the town as to make ours an unique experience.

Yes, doing it right and making sure the bin isn't stuffed to overflowing takes a bit more time and effort.

But all it involves is an extra half-hour or so each day, which even a full-time worker like myself doesn't find too onerous, being vividly aware of the environmental consequences our planet is already reaping from the wastefulness of this complacent throw-away consumer attitude that too many citizens appear to consider not merely acceptable, but downright laudable, and which is reflected in so much contemporary complaint in response to the call to "tighten our belts" and re-think our lifestyles.

Unless we all finally commit ourselves to rigorously re-evaluating and challenging our most dearly-held Nimby attitudes toward the less convenient dimensions of eco-awareness and activity, the damage to our environment will continue to accumulate at an exponential rate.

It is time to stop whining, discipline ourselves, and knuckle down to the critically important tasks confronting us.

The fortnightly waste collection schedule is merely the tiniest belated step in the right direction ­- but at least it is a step in the right direction.

Congratulations to the council for taking it. Now, people, let's fall into line and, for pity's sake, stop fussing.



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