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Waste Disposal & Recycling

Image of recycling green bins

About thirty people were entertained by an excellent talk
by the South and Vale Waste and Recycling officer, Jessica Beare, in
Hagbourne Village Hall on Friday 4 November.

Jess gave a high paced and well illustrated presentation on waste disposal and the management of this in our district and county. She reported that SODC have a 64.1% recycling rate (the percentage of weight of recycled over overall household waste) and that this is the second highest in England. Her talk was followed by a lively question and answer session. Questions ranged from technical issues on anaerobic digestion used to process our food waste, to showing Jess articles and asking in which bin they should be placed.

There were several take home messages from this meeting.
It is crucially important to avoid contamination of green bin waste
so all input should be clean and dry with no traces of food and certainly no nappies. Contamination can often be detected during kerbside waste collection and could earn you an “OOPS” tag indicating the reason for not emptying your bin. Such contamination can spoil a large quantity of potential recycling when mixed with other waste. Rather than fret too much about plastics, the simple rule is just to put any plastic pots, tubs, trays, and bottles in the green bin, preferably crushed (to save space) and with any
tops on (to avoid contamination by broken glass, for example). Hard plastic that is not squashable should be put in the black bin. Soft plastic such as crisp packets should be put in bins available at all supermarkets. Textiles should not be put in the green bin but can be placed in clear bags beside the green bin for collection. Batteries should definitely not go in any bin because of fire risk, but again can be placed in a separate clear bag on top of the green bin.
Another important message is that no black bin waste goes to landfill; it is incinerated at the ERF at Ardley without release of noxious gases, and even the ash and residual metals can be recycled. Thus, when in doubt use the black bin. In fact, the only landfill waste is from collections through bulk waste bookings, that is furniture and utilities. Garden waste is included in the recycling count so having full brown bins will help Jess and her colleagues to get top spot in recycling next year!

A few members of the audience had visited the food waste disposal plant in Benson and the ERF (Energy Recovery Facility) at Ardley and have found these visits fascinating and informative. Both have extensive visitor programmes and you can organize a visit for a group of people through the websites: for food waste and for the ERF at Ardley.

PRESENTATION:Jess-talk-to-East Hagbourne PC edit