Congratulations to Tory controlled Walsall Council

Actually that really should be the EU who’s legislation has managed to drag an area of UK environmental practices into the 20th century* but we’re dealing with the new recycling scheme we’ve got round these parts.

Bit of background. A fortnight ago we got a new wheelie bin. One of those 120 litre ones that is now designated for non-recyclable waste – it’s black btw. The old 240 litre green wheelie bin is now for recyclable waste only and we’re allowed to keep the old green box that was supposed to be for recycling.

Here’s how it should work. The 120 litre bin should be collected on weekly and the 240 litre on a fortnightly basis. All good stuff although I’m curious as to whether the council would have bothered if it weren’t for the EU threatening to impose massive fines on councils but in general terms I like this arrangement as opposed to the previous ‘system’.

Given that Walsall MBC failed to collect my recycling box for the five years I had it and our genuinely positive attitude towards recycling here at Penguin Central I was looking forward to see how the new system would pan out.

A fortnight in and our black bin was collected last week but not the recycling one which is fine because last week we had a couple of bags in it as an overhang of our rubbish that had accumulated before we were able to actually separate everything out. This week we managed to cut our non-recyclables down to a single bag which is pretty good going for a family of four but the recycling bin was getting dangerously close to capacity.

Today’s bin day in our parts and thankfully the recycling bin was emptied. Oddly though, our non-recyclables bin wasn’t. The bin men couldn’t have missed it, it was sitting next to the other bin they emptied so what exactly is all this about? We were promised by my favourite Tory Councillor Rachel Walker who apparently has responsibility for Environment that weekly collections for non-recyclables were guaranteed. If I was in a particularly sarcastic mood I guess I could say this was a case stealth fortnightly collections by the back door but I’m not, they might just have accidentally missed mine.

There is however an important point to this. In a situation where the ability to put out non-recyclables has effectively halved, a missed collection is even more problematic. It is in the end just a good job that we’ve been so good at sorting out our rubbish here which means we’ve still got plenty of space for this week.

That said, I think there should be a little more care taken in how the bins are put back after they’re emptied. The pavements on our road were strewn with bins all over the place this morning which makes me rather glad that I don’t use a wheelchair or motability scooter because I’d have had no chance. It could of course be a clever method of creating temporary chicanes to stop the kids riding their bikes fast on the pavement though.

Well done Tory Walsall council, after 5 years of not collecting my recycling box you’ve managed now not to collect my new non-recycling bin.

*That was deliberate.

7 thoughts on “Congratulations to Tory controlled Walsall Council

  1. Having moved from Walsall to Willenhall I can say that, in both places, the council managed to collect my recyclable box every two weeks and they even left me a note when the glass in it was not to their liking (and they refused to collect it!)

    Like you we had our new bins. Last week they failed to collect my neighbours green bin saying that it had ‘ordinary rubbish’ in it. No surprise as the new scheme only started this week.

    This week both bins are empty which is good. We have no idea what is going on with brown bin collections as they are not mentioned in leaflets and time tables.

    Also, by putting plastic in your green bin you will be taking work away from Links to Work. This is a brilliant organisation who emply adults with multiple difficulties (in other words unemployable in a normal work environment) and pay them to sort out plastic collected in the bin green bins with yellow lids you see at supermarkets and doctors surgeries. So please continue to use those.

  2. @Andrew I think on this occasion I’m happy to chalk it down to an accidental missed collection which can happen in even the best circumstances.

    With our recycling boxes it was very much a street-wide and somewhat strange issue. Two neighbouring roads always had their boxes emptied which is odd because they were collected at the same time, it just seemed that ours was always missed out/ignored.

    On a couple of occasions we’d get reminders from Walsall MBC that if we didn’t recycle we’d get fined to which for a month or two everyones boxes would re-emerge to not be collected again and things went back to normal and no fines materialised. Odd, but that’s how it happened despite myself reporting this non-collection to the council a few times they just never seemed to emerge.

    I have to admit that I’d not heard of Links to Work before nor noticed any specific green and yellow bins at either my doctors surgery or any of the three supermarkets I use. I’ll try to have a better look next time.

    That reminds me, I must e-mail you.

  3. Here in Bedfordshire, we had a change made to our refuse collection a few years ago, both regular refuse and recyclable refuse would be collected fortnightly, on alternating weeks. I had a long correspondence with the council predicting a rise in maggot infestation and vermin. Subsequent advice from the council reflected this prediction was coming true – we were told to triple wrap food waste in plastic to prevent flies getting at it.
    More recently, we’ve been given small bins with secure lids for recycling food waste – these get collected weekly. Bin count is now two wheely bins and a small bin.

  4. There is one at Willenhall Chart Centre and a couple at Tesco in Willenhall. When we were in Walsall there eight at Morrisons (Town Centre) and they were regularly overflowing despite being emptied three times per week. That site started with one bin three years ago! It is a ‘no brainer’. Plastic comes from supermarkets so take it back and you can use the bags you took it in to carry the next lot of shopping home.

  5. did you ever ask your local councillors about your green box not being collected. We had the same problem phoned our local councillor and it was sorted and also got an extra box. very good. When you see what is happening in other parts of the country this new system in Walsall not too bad but recycling could do with being collected weekly and other bin every other week

  6. Hi there

    Well I live in Caldmore. And although the Council should have emptied the new recycling green bin twice and that of my neighbours, they have so far failed to empty it even once. The street is now unsurprisingly full of rubbish and over flowing green wheelie bins!

  7. My recycling box was stolen, I contacted Walsall Council who assured me that a replacement would be with me within 2 weeks – that was 2 years ago. Since then I have only been able to recycle (with the Council)newspapers becuase quite rightly health and safety requirements meant that I could not leave anything else out in plastic carrier bags.
    The point made about Links to Work is vital – here is an organisation which has provided employment (and supervisory opportunities) to a group of citizens who would otherwise find it difficult to access such opportunities (particularly those with learning difficulties(who have delivered an excellent plastic recycling scheme at the time that Walsall Council said it wasn’t interested. Unfortunately, at the same time as Walsall Council was patting itself on the back for being brilliant at recycling and issuing awards and plaudits for the way in which it interacts with people who have disabilities it forgot that the consequences of its new bin regime were to throw those very same people out of work!
    Penguin as you say – WELL DONE WALSALL COUNCIL!

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