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Council still refuses food waste collections

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Following our last Green News focussed on the topic of waste, Salisbury Green Party members pursued the issue of food waste collection with Wiltshire Council and were disappointed to receive this reply from Waste Management Team Leader Tom Bennell: “We are aware that other council’s [sic] successfully collect food waste from the kerbside. However, in Wiltshire, and other large shire councils, food waste collection costs are a significant barrier to the introduction of weekly food waste collections”.

Strange that food waste has been collected in our neighbouring (rural) Dorset for years, and that the local Malaby Biogas plant would take all Wiltshire's food waste without charge and pay Wiltshire a share of the income from the electricity it generates for Warminster. But the council would still prefer NOT to follow the government commitment to have all food waste collected by 2023, and burn it instead in Westbury, causing yet more air pollution and climate change (although council approval for the new incinerator has now been deferred until June after public pressure). Please get in touch with Wiltshire Council's leader Richard Clewer (richard.clewer@wiltshire.gov.uk) and tell him Wiltshire's policy is rubbish and you want them to start food waste collections.

We have also been gathering information on what Salisbury folk are already doing to reduce our rubbish, and it turns out to be quite a lot. Our handy guide for where to recycle all the things the council won't collect can be downloaded here. However, we should all use the ‘waste hierarchy’ approach, as it is far better to reduce the amount of stuff we use in the first place, reuse what we have, and re-purpose items where possible, before finally throwing what's left in the recycle bin or compost – hopefully with nothing left for landfill!

Please note that while recycling is great for high value and easily recyclable waste such as glass, paper and metal; the picture is very different for plastic; a low value and costly material to recycle which can only be recycled once. Existing schemes e.g. those run by Terracycle, are subsidised by participating companies. So we think single-use plastics should be eliminated completely (after all, the point of plastic is that it pretty much lasts forever!).

Don’t forget that a great way to reduce/re-use is to try our many great charity and secondhand shops and keep an eye out for car-boot sales, bric a brac stalls and jumble sales at churches and community events.

This list is only a start. If you think we have missed anything, or if your business is trying to go waste and plastic free, please email us and we will try to include it. If you missed our last issue and would like a copy, please email us at hello@salisbury.greenparty.org.uk

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