Gary, a Spalding councillor and Conservative Leader of South Holland District Council, rubbished the so-called 'Alternate Weekly Collections' adopted by many other councils, including here in neighbouring South Kesteven.
Here, the council are in the process of rolling out twin-wheelie-bins to every householder: silver for everything that can be recycled and black for waste destined for landfill.
Gary pointed to evidence from Bedfordshire that showed some people dumped waste food in their wheelie-bins meant for recycling because they objected to having it waiting up to a fortnight to be collected. This contamination means up to 15 per cent of entire loads of otherwise recycleable material actually end up in landfill.
Gary also claimed that if waste food is left for a fortnight before collection, we could expect
third world diseases that should never be in our country.Scary. I guess the proof of the pudding will be a hot summer...
The jury's also out on which system will achieve the highest rate of genuine recycling.
For as well as black bags for waste, South Holland are introducing a 'clear plastic bag' policy for recycleable items. That's as transparent as you can get!
Gary's approach to green waste was also no-nonsense. He told the Select Committee that the whole idea was to cut down on the amount of waste collected - recycled or landfilled. He went on:
We don't collect green waste. The best place for garden waste is a compost heap in a corner of the garden where it is produced.Some years ago, I recall being given a lift in a neighbour's car and couldn't help commenting on the pungent smell of freshly mown grass.
My neighbour apologised for the pong, explaining that he was a keen environmentalist so took his lawn clippings to Dogsthorpe every time he used the mower.
He clearly hadn't taken into account the damage to the environment of his weekly 15-mile round car journey to the tip. Besides, I hadn't the heart to tell him that his lawn would be greener and healthier if he didn't deny it of the nutrients in the clippings.
Even worse, his black bag of clippings ended up as landfill!