Living in Newcastle-under-Lyme makes recycling easy in many ways, because we are known to have the largest number of recycling containers for waste out of the whole UK, despite some people thinking this may make things trickier due to separating out waste and storing said containers.
It can have downsides when small terraced properties have to try and find places to hide away 2 large bins; one for garden waste and the other for left over general household waste that can’t go into any other recycling container, a food collection bin for outside and a silver caddy for kitchen waste to be added to, a green bag for cardboard, a blue plastic bag for paper recycling, a blue box for glass and metal, red plastic bags to take away old plastic bottles and a Samaritans collection bag for clothing and shoes.
There is certainly an argument though that Newcastle-under-Lyme should be throwing away much less in the grey bin every two weeks. In fact, although we are only a household of two adults with our cats for company, we only end up putting our grey bin out every second collection, so once per month, and even then it’s only ever half full, plus we downsized to the smaller size bin the council provides to save space in our garden because of this.
Every other week when our recycling gets taken, our green cardboard bag is nearly always full to bursting, and there had been many occasions when travelling to work on windy days, we’d seen other people’s green bags go drifting away up the road once empty because people we’re home to put them safely away. Sadly, we’d been affected by this a couple of weeks ago, so with a mountain of cardboard growing by the day and our recycling collection approaching too, I decided to contact the council to request a new bag, hoping it wouldn’t take too long to arrive, requesting a blue paper collecting bag too, which we had never previously received.
Logging on to the local council website, I expected to have to find a contact number to ring the council on and request a new bag, however found a handy recycling container request form which took seconds to fill in. Feeling pleased the order had been placed, I then thought nothing more and set about tidying the kitchen. The following morning, lying in bed, I heard the post (so I thought) being delivered rather earlier than normal. Getting up and going downstairs, however, I saw an envelope stuck in the door and found a blue paper collecting bag inside it, feeling pleased by the prompt response from the council. Opening the front door, the new green cardboard recycling bag was sat on my doorstep, now with a heavier robust weighted bottom, obviously a design improvement to reduce the amount of straying bags in the wind.
Now I can’t imagine many people hail their councils for excellent responses, but on this occasion, I was incredibly impressed. It showed me that the waste and recycling department at Newcastle council not only takes customers seriously but is committed to helping recycling levels increase as much as possible. Well done Newcastle-under-Lyme council!