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Recycling – a costly business January 11, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.

We all know we should be doing more for the protection of the environment and to try and reduce the effects of global warming (does the rain ever stop ?), but for many ‘green’ families it is turning out to be quite an expensive process.

Let’s take the example of the recycling ‘system’ in the area where I live. We have a one bin system, run by a private company whom we pay through the nose for the service. It breaks down to €33 per month for 2 bin lifts. On top of this we must pay €5 per bag for recycling, which is collected every other week, making up the monthly collections. Considering that we usually have at least 1 bag of recycling and after Christmas we had 4 (!), it all adds up to a costly wee sum. I estimate something in the region of €500 a year is spent by our household for refuse collection and recycling … that’s a bit much no ?

The thing that I am beginning to be interested in is what actually happens to the waste that is taken away to be recycled ? With this in mind, I wrote to the bin providers a couple of months ago but have yet to hear anything in return. As appears to be industry standard across Ireland and the UK, a lot of the recyclable waste is sold on to countries like China. This idea is compounded by this interesting article on Sky News, where a family in England found that their waste (complete with envelopes etc. bearing their name) ended up in China … so it appears that some waste, taken from homes in the UK and presumed to be on its way to get recycled, is actually shipped to China for processing and contributes to the pollution and so on of towns like Lianjiao (see article above).

I wonder what happens to waste in Ireland given our propensity to just chuck everything in the one bin ?

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