Resident campaign for wheelie bin recycling solution

Resident frustration with #stampoutthedamp campaign

A resident-led campaign has been set up for use of wheelie bins to store recycling. Picture: Phil Creighton

A PETITION for a better paper and card recycling scheme in Wokingham launched today after resident frustration with the new #stampoutthedamp campaign.

At the start of December, Wokingham Borough Council launched their campaign to stop paper and card recycling becoming wet before disposal.

They revealed that when wet, the paper and card is being rejected from the recycling process due to recent changes in the EU law. 

At the time, they suggested alternative ways for residents to store their recycling including covering the recycling box with something waterproof, keeping the recycling inside and putting out the black boxes on the morning of collection rather than the night before. 

The Borough Council said this would be a temporary solution whilst they investigated “the best options” going forward.

However, residents across the borough have become frustrated with the news, calling for the council to do more for the environment. 

Local resident and owner of Binghams Brewery, Chris Bingham started a petition today to lobby the council for better recycling storage.

Within two hours of the petition launch, there were already 70 signatures. 

On the petition, Mr Bingham states: “Paper/card recycling in WBC is not fit for purpose. We are told to keep cardboard and paper dry to prevent it going to landfill/burning, but are not provided any means for doing so, other than putting it out just before the bin men come, or putting blue bag on top – which is not a waterproof method.”

He explains that the surrounding boroughs of Windsor and Maidenhead, Bracknell and Reading all use wheelie bins as a method of storage.

“If other boroughs can do it, then it is sensible to do the same,” he said. “Wheelie bins seem to be a proven method that works.

“And for people who don’t like the look of wheelie bins, they should be allowed to opt-out and use a recycling bag instead. They do something like this in Windsor and Maidenhead.”

“It is the council’s responsibility to enable residents to recycle properly. 

“Their #stampoutthedamp campaign is stupid — you can put a blue bag on top of your recyling, but what if you’ve got a large cardboard box from a hoover or something. 

“It’s just not practical to put the onus on the homeowner.

“It’s just a joke really, and not what I pay my council tax for.” 

Wokingham Borough Council suggested residents place their blue bags on top of black boxes to avoid paper and card getting wet. Picture: Wokingham Borough Council

Mr Bingham also wrote: “Residents need a scheme that works and fast. There are lots of unhappy residents doing their bit for the environment but then being told it will all be dumped/burned because it is wet. It is unacceptable.”

He also wants the borough council to make it clearer and easier about what residents can and cannot recycle, using pictures and diagrams instead of explaining with words. He believes this will make it clearer to all residents what they can recycle. 

Mr Bingham is calling for a solution to the paper and card recycling issue by April 2020. 

“If we get no response from the council by April, then people can start withholding their council tax. We can start hitting their pockets.”

Residents who are interested in the petition can view it online.

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