Sorting the Waste!


Currently the blue-lidded bin recycling is sent to sorting facilities in Leeds & Nottingham which is very costly. Coventry City Council has proposed the idea of building a recycling facility to deal with waste from the blue-lidded bins at Whitley, Coventry. To help build this new plant local councils in the region are going to be partners. Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Walsall Council are all planning on investing in the scheme and will use it once operational. It is proposed that the facility will be powered by renewable energy from the adjoining Waste to Energy Unit and possibly solar panels. All the trucks will offload their waste inside the new building.

There will be no combustion or organic waste inside this new building. After sorting, all items will be bundled before they go on to be used in new products.

How many trucks will be entering the site daily? About 43. Coventry’s current ‘blue-bin’ dust carts will be delivering to the site. However the other Councils recyclable-waste will be delivered in much larger trucks.

How many staff will be employed? Initially about 30 with a potential of 50 if the volume of recycling increases.

How many routes are there into the site? Only one – the current entrance to the Whitley Depot from the London Road.

Why can’t there be a road link between the current Waste Disposal Plant & the new Recycling building? Currently this is believed to be too difficult.

What are the planned hours of Operation? Currently 8am to 6pm with 1 shift.

There is a wide range of services and facilities to recycle domestic waste. As well as reducing the volume of waste going to landfill sites, recycling and composting your domestic waste helps to minimise charges for waste collection. Many of the items used in the home can be recycled.

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It’s all very well sorting out the waste but do we require so much packaging? Years ago if you went to the shops you would get potatoes weighed and then tipped into your string bag of basket, fruit would be popped in a plain brown paper bag, veg mainly would be sold loose. Meat and cheese would be wrapped in grease proof paper then plain paper. Hot chips and fish would be served the same but with a final wrapping of old newspapers to keep them warm.

Milk would come in bottles delivered every day to your door and the empties would be taken back to be washed and refilled. The same with pop, cider and beer bottles – you paid a deposit and you would get this returned when the bottle was returned.

But over the years we have been sold the idea that we need everything wrapped two, three or four times. And who pays for all this wrapping? It seems bad management if we have to take everything and reduce it back to its original material then using very expensive energy to remake the item! It would be like a pub where every time they sell you a drink the used glass gets smashed into a bin then it goes to be melted and a new glass is made from the bits so they can serve the next drink. Or a restaurant where after you have had your food all the plates are smashed and the knives and forks are crushed and melted to form new knives and forks – its the madness of a Greek wedding. But we are doing very similar things to this. To really make a difference we must change the way we sell items and use less packaging.

This story was first published in the Coventry Action for Neighbourhoods newsletter. Our thanks for their permission to republish it.

2 thoughts on “Sorting the Waste!

  1. Did you know that black trays cannot be recycled so must go into household waste? no?
    Do you just throw transparent wrapping into recycle without reading the little symbol on the side that says ‘not currently recycled? no?
    If we are to still have wrapping, each piece should be clearly marked where it should go when it is finished with, and even then, local people who cant be bothered with all this, plus non-english speakers, students just put everything into a black bin bag & put it to household waste in green lid bin or find a convenient multi use large bin, to throw the bag into.


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