Bins - where are the facts? THERE has been a steady stream of criticism following the press release last November when the Council informed the community they have decided (without consultation) to issue a three-wheeled bin to each household at a nominal

Not a waste

Stephen William’s letter last week raised some questions about the council’s new recycling scheme.

The council is committed to raising the amount we recycle from the current level - where 23 per cent of what households throw away is recycled - to 48 per cent and more. The council will face financial penalties and higher landfill tax bills - which would have to be passed on to residents - if we continue as we are.

The council’s new three-bin recycling scheme, which will be phased in over the summer, has been designed to make it as easy as possible for everyone to recycle more. We have looked at experience of similar areas and we are confident that 85 per cent of households will be able to take full part. The footprint’ of the new recycling bins is no more than that of the existing bags and green and black boxes.

The recycling scheme should be more hygienic, with burst and ripped bags a thing of the past, and a weekly collection of wet recycling’ such as kitchen scraps. Dry recycling’, such as plastics and cans, will be collected every other week, alternating with the remaining rubbish that can’t be recycled.

Far from it being irrelevant, the council recognises that not everyone or every household will be able to fully participate in the three-bin recycling scheme, so we will be making special arrangements where it might not be suitable. We will be sending everyone a survey before each phase of the introduction of the new scheme that allows anyone who thinks they may have a problem to tell the council. Blocks of flats, for example, can have communal larger bins and there is an assisted collection service for those who are frail, elderly or disabled.

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The new recycling scheme is the key to reducing our dependence on landfill and creating a more sustainable future.

Cllr Alan Thawley

Chair Environment Committee

Uttlesford District Council

Dog tired of litter

On walking or driving around our town I am alarmed at the amount of litter everywhere. I have personally seen a lady clean up after her dog and then promptly throw the offending bag in the hedge along Thaxted Road by the steps where children walk. If there is a shortage of dog bins, then please let me know so that working in partnership with both the Town and District councils adequate bins can be installed. Footpaths also seem to be a problem with litter simply discarded in the hedgerows.

Could we make it a 2006 resolution to keep our town clean.

Cllr Chris Bayley

Town and District Councillor

Speed dating fun

A QUICK note to congratulate Kate Kanlon of Mix Meeting People for her organisation of the Speed Dating evening last Thursday at the Saffron Hotel. It was great fun, very friendly, and relaxed, and it really works! But please don’t print my name and address.

Name and address supplied

Wheelie important

THE issue of Wheelie Bins is yet another Big Brother edict originating in Brussels and elaborated by our Westminster bureaucrats.

This knee-jerk response to the ecological problem of landfill is not getting to the bottom of the problem, which is really the packaging and presentation industry which uses the health and safety do-gooders’ to support and expand its business.

The older readers will remember the days when all we brought home from the shops was unprocessed and unpackaged.

Government pressure on those who originate the bulk of the problem would be more effective than harassing the public to act as rubbish sorters.

The big stick’ used by the bureaucrats to enforce their ideas is to impose crippling fines on the county councils, who in turn pass these down to local government and so paid by us in increased community tax rates.

This is even more illogical than usual as councils are told they must double the percentage of waste recycled irrespective of their previous record. This means that councils, which have been efficient in the past, like Essex and recycled about 30 per cent will now be fined if they recycle less than 60 per cent, whereas a council which only recycled 10 per cent will be able to get away with only recycling 20 per cent.

It is up to our councillors to realise that wheelie bins are very unsuitable for old or disabled people. We need to fight bureaucracy at all levels.

W R LOMAS, Chairman

UK Independence Party

Saffron Walden Branch

Bins - where are the facts?

THERE has been a steady stream of criticism following the press release last November when the Council informed the community they have decided (without consultation) to issue a three-wheeled bin to each household at a nominal cost to the local tax payer!

I would like to respond to our elected representatives, the councillors, and the chief executive of UDC who is in the employ of the taxpayer and make a, not unreasonable, request for specifics.

The December 1 press release referred to "series of roadshows and leafleting" containing a contact phone no. to express concerns. As this is supposed to become a reality this year, when and where are these roadshows taking place and where are these leaflets?

Why wasn't the community invited to give their views, before the council decided to raise our council tax bills, probably, in addition to the usual hikes?

Given the conversion costs should be a 'one-off', am I correct in assuming there would be a comparative reduction in our tax levy the following year and will this be broken down in our tax bills in simple layman's terms?

Reference various press releases and letters, we are advised there is a 7% shortfall in the district's recycling levels; if this does not change we would be subject to fines. One assumes, hopes, this bin invasion decision must surely have been based on facts and evidence. What is the actual amount that would be levied against us? Does it have a sliding scale and if so, what is it? Or is the levy the same if there is a 7% or a 0.5% shortfall? What criteria/evidence can you provide the community with to prove this is the only solution?

Would you please be specific by what you define as kitchen waste? Taking into account we are to be issued with a bin for recyclables, one for non-recyclables and one for kitchen waste. As I understand it, kitchen waste without non-recyclables would be organic matter in the form vegetation and meat waste.

Reference the exemption clause; those who live in flats and have no gardens will have to be exempt; otherwise it will block the paths and blight the look of the village and market town. Will they still have to pay this 'nominal charge'? Will the exemption criteria include residents who are vehemently against them? Those who live in terraced accommodation (and the inconvenience/ difficulty wheeling these bins out the rear of the property round the block and back again on average twice a week)? Residents who only have very modest gardens and cannot afford screening to block these ugly plastic monstrosities from view? Will the views of the residents who do not want their views blighted by an invasive eyesore, screened or not, be considered? The chief executive appears to endorse this crackpot idea and goes on record to state "where there is an identified problem we will be working with residents to determine which properties are unsuited to wheeled bins". It appears, this sweeping statement coupled with his other comments that he has already decided who should be exempt! With the bias you have already demonstrated I respectfully suggest you are not a suitable candidate for this task.

Do you really intend to continue even though there hasn't been any public support?

It seems likely your utopian dream won't be realised as many, for various reasons, be disinclined to clutter their modest rear gardens with your plastic junk.

Finally, I would like to extend the invitation to another for their comments, perhaps the UDC Executive Programme Manager for Quality of Life might like to say a few words!


Saffron Walden

Taxis - be more fare conscious

I read with interest in last week's Reporter Mr Page's comments on the proposal for yet further rises in taxi fares in the district.

As a regular user of taxis I, like many others, can ill afford to pay yet higher fares.

I live in a village where bus services are very limited and so taxis are my only way of getting shopping and using other services in Saffron Walden.

I find it hard to understand that Uttlesford District Council is prepared to consider yet more calls for higher fares following an increase only last year.

I also feel that the rise being proposed is well above the current rate of inflation.

I for one will certainly be more fare conscious in the future and I would suggest other members of the public be the same.

J Thompson

Great Chishill

It's your heritage - treasure it

Picking up on and endorsing Mayor Richard Freeman's New Year message to the people of Saffron Walden - "this is your town: use it, love it and treasure it" I urge all those who value our heritage to stand up and fight against the progressive rape of the town through ill-conceived development.

For too long we have watched the inexorable loss of green space, playing fields, the destructive impact on wildlife habitat, imposition of increasing volume of traffic, parking pressure on a mediaeval street plan, mounting demands on the town's infrastructure and services, the strangulation of the town centre.

From Radwinter Road and High School to Thaxted Road and Bell College ... Seven Devils Lane next? Enter the Friend's School with their rapacious proposals, unveiled last Saturday.

William J Rose

Saffron Walden