Recycling mix-up again, says Wokingham resident

A RESIDENT has caught council contractors mixing his carefully separated recycling and rubbish – for the fourth time.

Last week, Colin George recorded a team from Wokingham Borough Council contractors Veolia placing the contents of his black box into the same bin as his blue bag.

“I’m lost for words,” he said after he had just returned from a visiting the Larges Lane recycling centre in Bracknell, where he had to sort his own waste before placing it in the correct holding area.

“I’m doing something far more complicated than a blue bag, a black bin and a kitchen bin.”

He said that after complaining to the council after last week’s botched collection, his waste was perfectly handled this week.

“They even put the bins back down on the pavement and stack them inside one another, rather than throwing them across my neighbour’s front lawn.

“Understandably, the guys want to get the round done as fast as possible.”

Mr George said that living at the end of a cul-de-sac, he could see how tempting it would be for the collection crew to take his recycling and “chuck it all in with the rest of it”.

He called for the refuse carts to be fitted with better cameras so that other incidents could be picked up by council staff making spot checks.

“This is the second time that I’ve videoed them, but the fourth time I’ve reported them. I work on people’s houses and I’m quite often up on somebody’s roof. I’ve got quite an aerial view of what’s going on around the home I’m working on and I see them quite often chucking blue bags in with recycling.”

But the council said that it takes its commitment to recycling seriously in light of declaring a climate emergency in 2019, and the incident was dealt with swiftly to avoid it happening again.

Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, said: “Increasing recycling rates across the borough is an important part of reducing our carbon footprint.

“We have been working hard, along with our partners at Veolia, on this, as our introduction of food waste recycling two years ago shows. We have looked into this complaint, as we do take our recycling commitment seriously.

“This incident is due to a new member of staff and action was taken as soon as we received the report. Our partners at Veolia are committed to the environment and train all their operatives to take the material to the back of the vehicle where they are separated and then taken off for further processing. All of their vehicles have CCTV to monitor consistent and correct procedures and allow us to investigate all complaints.

“I urge all residents to let us know if they see this happening.

“It’s easy to spot, as recycling should go in one side of the vehicle and blue bags in the other side with food going in the front compartment.

“If you see them mixed, report it to us with the date and time, so we can check the CCTV footage from the vehicle. We will always investigate and take action right away.”

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