Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New bins for old

In November, my area swaps recycling systems.

Out goes the RE:box, a two-container system that I helped name, design and market, and in comes the now ubiquitous green wheelie.

I have mixed feelings on this. So, following an invitation in the local paper, I trooped off t'other day 'to get all my questions answered'.

Well, I got a leaflet (Polish and Portuguese also available) and a free pencil, so it was not a complete waste, but sadly the questions I had (about recyclcate quality at the MRF (materials Reclamation Facility), etc) were not on the list. Nor what these 'new products' might be.

Still, I did learn a few things.

By virtue of having a house on the street, I may not be issued with one. I think I will manage by virtue of having off road space, but the issue is me getting it out for collection without blocking the footpath. Even a few minutes if I get up and get it out early might be a hazard.

So that's pretty much our whole road out, then. Strikes me as already a step backwards as the alternative is to lob out black binliners.

I am also 'required' to rinse and clean everything... apparently. No bin liners in the wheelie means that in the two hot weeks of summer between collections... 'I would want to anyway'. Hmnnn. Oddly, we get to retain our bin liners for 'other waste'.

There's also a leaflet on what they will take and what they won't. I could not get much feedback on what steps would be taken in the event of incorrect placement, either by self or 3d parties. Hmnnn 2.

What is good is they will now take plastics, but again we are in label territory. The lady said 'if it's a bottle we'll take it'. Not sure she, or consumers, will be getting their heads round this one any time soon. They also don't want biodegradables. Good luck with that.

We'll see. But even after what I am sure will be an inevitably troubled settling in period, I remain to be convinced that this has been thought through.

And as one who helped deliver them, I wonder what will become of 20,000 heavy duty blue plastic RE:tie containers after just a few years. Landfill?

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