Recycling Roundup 26th Feb
Residents in Ealing can now use an app to access information on recycling in their local area. The @Home app will allow residents to see details of rubbish and recycling collection services, their next collection date, what they can and can’t recycle, and where their nearest recycling centre is.
A local councillor said that Ealing recycles over half of its household waste, making it one of the top performing councils in London, and the app will hopefully improve their performance even further by providing residents with the information they need, at their fingertips. The app can be downloaded for free from the Apple store or from Google Play.
Staff at Oxfordshire’s household waste recycling centres are being given body cameras to tackle the problem of the increasing occurrence of abuse aimed at them from customers. The cameras won’t be constantly switched on, though staff will be able to use them in situations where they feel intimidated. Staff will have to advise a customer that they are being filmed if they switch the camera on and there will be notices on display, informing members of the public that the technology is in use at the site. It is hoped that the footage will be able to serve as evidence in some cases and as a way to deal with customer complaints in others.
The cameras will be rolled out to all of Oxfordshire’s 7 recycling centres, with their Redbridge site getting them first. There are around 20 incidents of physical and verbal abuse on recycling centre staff each year, and although this is low considering that well over a million people use the centres, the council still considers it unacceptable.
All incidents are reported to the police, but the council hope that the cameras will act as a deterrent. They say that staff and customer safety is a priority, and that the vast majority of customers use the centres without incident.
Residents in Shropshire have complained to the council because they have not been given lids for their recycling boxes, so the rubbish blows away in windy weather, and ends up littering the streets and green spaces. The council advised residents to stack their boxes on top of each other or place glass in the top box to weigh it down which residents say is not a viable long-term solution.
Critics say that it makes financial sense to issue lids for the boxes, as it costs the council dearly to clean up the mess when the rubbish is strewn everywhere.
In response, the council said that they don’t provide lids or nets for boxes for a few reasons. They argue that removing the lids is more difficult and time-consuming for collection crews, and that the lids themselves blow away, and they become an additional problem. They repeated their suggestion that residents could either put glass in the top bin if boxes were stacked or place their blue bags on top of the boxes to weigh them down.