Sunday, 6 January 2008

moan, moan,moan

I am fast turning into a grumpy old woman in 2008. After my last post complaining about the temperature at work I am now annoyed by the recycling facilities (or lack of ) in our area.

Yesterday we chopped our Christmas tree up into manageable pieces and my husband took it to be recycled - site closed - the nearest place is 14 miles away. He didn't make the trip but came home. I'm not sure that driving 28 miles to recycle a Christmas tree would make good ecological sense anyway. Which do you think would be worse in terms of greenhouse gases, a Christmas tree anaerobically decomposing in landfill and producing methane or the carbon dioxide produced by driving 28 miles so that the tree can be shredded and composted?

Our local authority doesn't collect cardboard and we had a few weeks worth to be recycled. Today we were near to a supermarket with recycling facilities so we decided to drop it off. This is what the cardboard recycling area looked like.

The whole area was very messy, all the containers were full so the option was to leave stuff near to the relevant container or bring it home again.
It does seem a shame that when we are being encouraged to recycle that the facilities provided do not meet the need. I wonder how much stuff ends up in landfill just because the effort to find somewhere to take it to be recycled is just too great.
I promise to make my next post more positive and I will not grumble about anything!!


Susan Harwood said...


My name is Susan Harwood.

I'm contacting people who list ‘the environment ‘as an interest on their 'blogger's profile'.

I have a new blog called


It is concerned with the environment, building, architecture, politics and education.

It can be found at

It is in its very early stages just yet - so comments will be especially welcome!

Yours sincerely

Susan Harwood

Ali said...

that's a shame about the lack of recycling in your area :(

is there any way you could start up an action group about it/petition the council ????

campbellgirl said...

I guess I am very fortunate: in my town of Palmerston North, New Zealand we have excellent recycling facilities. There are at least 2 council depots and kerb-side recycling for glass, steel, aluminium, no. 1 and 2 plastics, paper and card. It's really great. I do wish that the rest of the plastics would be collected, but we do have an Arts Recycling Centre who take yoghurt and marge pottles and almost anything else we care to give them!

All is not rosy on the NZ recycling front, though. Some small towns have facilities, some don't have any. Some of them (Mum and Dad's town is one) tried but the bins were so badly abused they were taken away. Every little effort helps but we still have a long way to go to truely earn our 'clean, green' status.

Thanks for your blog, I enjoy reading what you have to say and show. Cheers!

Heather L. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica at Bwlchyrhyd said...

Where we used to live in London, the paper bank was routinely overflowing. Every time I phoned the council, they came along the next day and emptied it, but they never realised that they just needed to be emptying the thing much more frequently without my constant prompting.

Regarding the tree, I don't know how much outdoor space you have, but if you chop it up really small and just put it in a pile in the corner somewhere, it will eventually rot down, and in the process will provide shelter and food to all sorts of creatures. We call them "nature piles" -- it's what we do with things that are too woody or have too many seeds to go in the regular compost.

willow said...

Thanks for the comments.

Susan, welcome and thanks for visiting.

ali, yes I should moan at the council not just moan into space. It just seems ridiculous that they can spend money on facilities and sending out leaflets encouraging us to use them and then not keep them functional.

campbellgirl, I think the amount of recycling is very patchy here as well. Where my parents live almost everything can be recycled with a doorstep collection whereas here its just glass, cans and newspaper.

jessica, thanks for the tip about the tree. Our garden is small but I might be able to find space on the allottment.

Jane said...

Willow - If you have an allotment then I would say use your cardboard there as either a mulch or to line bean trenches etc. I get a lot of cardboard through the business which is not recyclable - we covered a bed with it and put our potatoes on top then covered them with straw. Great potatoes and this spring there is no sign of the cardboard at all - just great looking soil and lots of worms.
This will also work with newspapers. The only proviso is that you have to get the cardboard really wet before you put anything on top of it.