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Trial scheme to recycle garden waste

Could a new plan to recycle garden waste in Brookmans Park help reduce the need for domestic bonfires?

Welwyn Hatfield Council has set up a 'central composting' scheme and sent leaflets to local homes saying the area has been chosen to trial the plan.

The main change is that the council will no longer pick up green sacks with the weekly rubbish collection but has arranged for special recycling collections to take place on specified days each month (details below).

The disposal of garden waste has become a hot topic in this site's 'Have Your Say' section. The leaflet could serve as a reminder that all garden waste can be recycled and does not need to be burned.

Garden Bonfires

Are they a necessity or a nuisance?

Everyone has a right to burn their rubbish whenever they want.
People should be more considerate towards their neighbours.
The law needs to be changed to ban garden bonfires.

Current Results

Leaves, bark, woody prunings, hedge clippings, grass cuttings and plants and weeds are among the items the authority will collect.

The garden waste will need to be placed in special green sacks that will be on sale from Brookmans Park Post office and cost 3.90 for five. The collection staff will only pick up the official council sacks.

The authority also has a newspaper and magazine recycling programme operating in the area.

The following is the text taken from the council leaflet delivered to Brookmans Park Homes.

Welcome to Welwyn Hatfield Council's central composting scheme.

You and your neighbours have been chosen to trial a scheme to reduce the amount of garden waste that is buried in the ground in landfill sites.

This will also help you cut the number of trips you make to your local Household Waste Site when you clear your garden.

When we collect your garden waste it will be composted in Hertfordshire and turned into a peat substitute to be sold in garden centres and to landscape gardeners.

By law the council must separate 'green' waste from ordinary domestic rubbish and meet a target to recycle 20% of household rubbish. Central and home composting can make a huge difference to reaching this goal because green waste is very bulky.

When you buy 'green sacks' from the council we will collect them from the front edge of your property every month. We will no longer collect green sacks with your weekly rubbish collection. This is so our special crews can deliver green sacks directly for composting.

A lengthy list of the outlets stocking the green sacks is set out in the leaflet. Brookmans Park Post Office, Cuffley Parish Council and Hatfield Leisure Centre are among the local places where the bags can be bought.

The leaflet ends by setting out what people need to do to take part in the scheme.

1: Buy your sacks from Welwyn Hatfield Council outlets or local shops. They cost 3.90 for five.
2: Fill them with garden waste.
3: Put your sack on the front edge of your property where it is clearly visible from the road by 9am on your collection day. We will collect it by 5pm.

There is a Q&A section of the leaflet with the following questions and answers.

Q: What if I can't put my sack at the edge of my property?
A: If you are concerned your sack will be too heavy for you to life, for example because you are elderly or have a disability, please ring our helpline 08457-425000 for advice. If you think we may not be able to see your sack, for example because of the layout of your front garden, you can leave the sack on a grass verge. Please do not block the pavement for others.

Q: How do I prevent the contents of my sack from going soggy?
A: Store your green sacks in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. A garden shed or shady parts of the garden are ideal places.

Q: Why won't you collect kitchen waste, such as peelings and leftover raw fruit and veg?
A: The arrangements we have made with the composting company are for garden waste, not green waste generally. However you can compost kitchen waste very successfully at home. For more information on how to home compost, including special offers on home composting bins, contact the helpline 08457-425000

Q: Why will you only collect green sacks that I have bought from you, why can't I buy my own and fill them up?
A: We have charged for green sacks for several years because the Council needs to recover some of the costs of collecting garden waste. Many gardeners will only fill a few sacks over a season and are willing to pay for the convenience of not having to dispose of the sacks themselves/

The garden waste you help us to collect creates a peat substitute which can be sold to large and small-scale gardeners. Welwyn Hatfield has a contract with a composting company in St Albans. To make sure all the waste we send can be recycled please fill your green sacks with the following items only.

Grass cuttings
Plants and weeds
Woody prunings and hedge clippings
Leaves and bark

Your sack will NOT be collected if it contains anything else

Meat or bone
Fish or cooked food
Nappies or sanitary products
Pet litter
Gravel or stones
Plant pots or seed trays
Plastic, paper, card, glass, metal or textiles.

The collection day for Brookmans Park is once a month on Monday as follows...

Sept 10, Oct 8, Nov 5, Dec 3, Jan 28, Feb 25, Mar 25, Apr 22, May 20.

Welwyn Hatfield also has a recycling scheme for newspapers and magazines. The following is taken from the authority leaflet informing residents about the scheme.

We will come to the end of your garden path every fortnight to collect your newspapers and magazines. Every scrap of paper we collect can be used again to make more paper. Recycling means less need for landfill sites and less litter on your streets.

All you have to do to take part is:

1: Place papers and magazines into carrier bags or tie in bundles with string. Sorry we cannot take telephone directories, envelopes, packaging or cards.

2: Put your paper at the end of your path before 9am on your collection day. It will be collected by 5pm.

Recycling day is Monday with the following collection dates. Sep 1, 10, 24; Oct 8, 22; Nov; 5, 19; Dec 3, 17; Jan 14, 28; Feb 11, 25; Mar 11, 25; Apr 8, 22; May 11, 20.

If you want to discuss this issue you can use the form in the 'Have Your Say' section. Or alternatively you can take part in the poll at the top of this page.

August 25, 2001

Related News
Council advice on garden bonfires - July 27, 2001
Anger over summer evening bonfires - July 24, 2001

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