Monday, 17 February 2020

Henley Rotary Club

ROTARY talks rubbish. At least, that’s what members did at a special meeting on Monday last week with a talk by Eleanor Bunn, South Oxfordshire District Council’s outgoing waste and recycling officer.

The meeting was also attended by partners, associate members and other friends.

Ellie, who has since transferred to the council’s planning department, gave a comprehensive talk which prompted many questions and much discussion.

It also served to educate members and friends for the recycling information days that the club will be holding in Falaise Square on Saturdays, May 18, May 25 and June 29.

The interest was originally aroused by a visit the club made to the Viridor Energy Recovery Facility at Ardley, near Bicester, in August.

The visitors were particularly impressed to learn that all the black bin refuse is burnt to create enough energy to supply 56,000 homes, while only five per cent is sent to landfill.

Ellie said the council had first signed a contract with waste contractor Biffa in 2009. This was with the provision of green recycling boxes but this later changed to wheelie bins, green for all recyclables, black for all the waste that can’t be recycled and brown for garden waste, as well as food caddies.

She said the council had been rated second in the country for recycling and the neighbouring authority, Vale of White Horse, fifth.

The policy of allowing all recyclables to be put in the green wheelie bin was different from those of other local authorities. The waste is sorted at the materials recycling facility at Edmonton in north London.

Emphasising that, if in doubt, use the black bin, Ellie instanced a number of materials which could not be recycled, such as glitter, tissues, kitchen roll, polystyrene, bubble wrap, disposable coffee cups, pill blister packets and CDs.

Contrary to some reports, black plastic trays are accepted, providing they are reasonably clean.

Food waste went to the anaerobic digester at Wallingford where the methane generated electricity for 4,500 homes.

Ellie stressed that garden waste should contain no plastic bags or wrapping.

She promised to let the club have various leaflets to assist with its information days and, after several questions, during which it was acknowledged that different local authorities had different rules, club president Peter Thomson proposed the vote of thanks.

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