Change of attitude needed over recycling, says Observer

Our Saturday independent columnist thinks a change of attitude will be needed over recycling, and has a simple message for the leader of East Sussex County Council: It’s time to resign.


The recycling industry is, I read this week, facing a big problem.

China, which in recent years has taken much of our plastic, will not in future.

It has always seemed strange to me that the plastic bottle I put into the recycling bin could end up half-way across the world for processing.

China, according to the Independent (external link), is to ban foreign waste.

Waste contract

That must adversely affect the prices paid for the contents of our recycling bins, which in any case have not been that great in recent times.

Locally, Kier has already announced that it is pulling out of the waste contract in Wealden and surrounding areas, leaving the district council and its partners to find a new provider.

China’s decision is going to make that process harder.

What could the solution be?

Everything to incineration?

Maybe we should return to one bin, weekly collections and everything going to the incinerator at Newhaven where it will produce electricity.

That feels wrong to me, as a died-in-the-wool, ardent recycler.

I would suggest the council and its new contractor will become a lot more picky about what households can put into the recycling bin.

Paper, cardboard, tin, glass etc could be the limit. Plastic appears to be a much bigger challenge.

The answer is, of course, in our own hands in Britain.

Deposits on bottles

Consumers should press manufacturers and shops to use less plastic in packaging and to reuse materials.

It’s been mooted for drinks containers and bottles and I know of one shop in Uckfield, when buying a particular type of refreshing beverage from a specific manufacturer (OK, it’s beer and in a glass bottle), there is a small deposit on the bottle.

More of the same would make each of us responsible for doing our bit to help save the planet.

 Cllr Glazier keeps digging


Someone has obviously given the leader of East Sussex County Council a spade.

He’s in a hole over his allowances and is determined to keep digging, trying to justify such a massive increase.

He’s not worth it. No-one I know thinks he is worth it; so who is he trying to kid.

Cllr Keith Glazier’s position looks more untenable by the day and he should hand in his notice.

At the same, other county councillors must find a way to get the issue re-opened and a new vote taken: the public clearly are telling their councillors there should be no increase in these difficult financial times.

Fair play to Cllrs Chris and Claire Dowling for announcing they will either decline the increase or give the net amount they receive from the increase to charity.

They understand.

Out of pocket

By the way, some people think from the article last week that I am against councillors receiving allowances.

I’m not.

I said they should not be out of pocket.

Repayment of legitimate expenses and for any lost wages is fine by me, but this is not the time for councillors to be agreeing increases, with libraries slated for closure and further cuts to come in the county council’s budget.

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