We are led to believe that councils up and down the country care about the environment and to this end they instigate and encourage householders to separate their rubbish so that glass and cardboard and paper can be recycled. A separate collection of this recyclable material is made on a weekly basis. What a good socially responsible thing to do.
This week in conversation with two restaurateurs, who operate in Lambeth, South London, I discover that those 'green' credentials are not what they appear.
These restaurants, between them, produce at least one hundred empty glass bottles per day and numerous sacks of paper and cardboard; in fact the bulk of their waste is not left-over food but this recyclable stuff.
Multiply this by the number of restaurants in this borough and it is clear that there is the potential for an enormous quantity of recyclable material to be collected from relatively few locations.
Is it recycled? Not on your life. It goes to landfill!
Why on earth would the council pass up on such a treasure trove?
It goes like this . . .
Domestic waste is split by the householder. There are two collections per week. one for landfill, one for recycling.
A different firm collects the waste from restaurants and even though it is bagged-up according to type of material, because it has to be collected daily the firm charges those from whom they collect £2.50 per bag; none of this is recycled.
So why don't the restaurateurs take their recyclable stuff to a depot or recycling place ~ because then they are fined for 'fly-tipping'.
It's no win position for them ~ more money is made out of them by charging per bag and increasing the land-fill rather than exercising the socially responsible option.
Any council that behaves like this really is ~ "RUBBISH!"
The point is these restaurants are not producing 'rubbish' but resources.
"Local councils are responsible for the collection and disposal of refuse and have an obligation to reduce waste and promote recycling." Greenhouse Trust