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March 29, 2021 9:02 AM
By Luigi Gregori

I was amused that Conservative Test Valley announced with a fanfare of trumpets and drums rolling that they would introduce doorstep glass collection and a whole host of other green measures at some time in the future. This was not through a sudden greening at the borough council. No this was due to the government's environment bill which will make it mandatory for councils to do so. Currently we languish with one of the worst recycling rates in the UK at about 37%. Good councils recycle about twice what we do. When the council boasts that it sends little to landfill, the reason is simply that we incinerate so much. Doorstep glass collection is a particular bugbear of mine and many of our fellow residents. Yet Lib Dem Eastleigh has been doing it for years and so has Conservative Basingstoke. It appears that what is good enough for Basingstoke and Eastleigh is not good enough for us in Test Valley.

One other aspect is plastics which we know are a major source of contamination in our environment. In Test Valley we put them in the black bin for incineration. Yet if we crossed the border to Salisbury, we find that they are recycled. I had the pleasure of meeting an environmentally conscious gentleman who pointed out that he collected these plastic boxes and exported them to his family in Salisbury for recycling during his visits. Well done, Sir!

I understand that there has been some concern in Conservative leadership circles that the public cannot handle more than two types of bins. To make recycling effective then we really need to do the sorting out at home. Again, if London can do it so can Andover and Test Valley. Residents are already fairly confused over what can be recycled. The large number of brown bins with yellow stickers signifying rejection shows that the current system is not working. The main problem is that there is a real lack of education of what can be recycled in Test Valley despite the best efforts of our bin men and women. Let us recycle better and sooner. And not leave it to the future.