Thursday, November 06, 2008

Global warming & other things

Those who know me well know that I prefer cool weather to hot, but even I enjoyed some unseasonal warmth earlier this week. On holiday some miles further south than here (and over the channel) we enjoyed a picnic sitting under the oak trees with the sun beating down from an almost clear blue sky. This was November, but felt more like September or even May. There was real heat in the sun but the obvious autumn colours and leaf fall didn't sit comfortably with the temperature. Strange weather indeed.
This morning, back in Eaglescliffe, it's grey and wet so I feel much more at home.
A number of comments from residents on our latest Focus leaflet article on recycling lead me to clarify a little here as well as all the personal responses I've made:
A printing error lost the last 2 lines of the item on Green Waste collections. They don't stop completely, but stop in November when most green waste stops anyway and then start again in March.
The no side waste policy isn't just something decided on out of thin air - the pilot scheme showed that once cardboard and plastic were collected separately the amount of side waste reduced to almost nothing. Large families and people with medical problems which lead to significant extra waste disposal needs can contact the council to discuss special arrangements. At Christmas every effort will be made to clear waste as soon as humanly possible - no-one wants to see rubbish bags littering the area. I'm more than happy to discuss with people any problems they might have, and I've been doing so both in person and by email over recent days.
Liberal Democrats have been asking for reductions in packaging to be made mandatory - it's not fair to ask people to pay for the cost of packing up things that don't need packaging and then to ask them to pay for the cost of removing the packaging through their council tax. A real double whammy which is beyond our power as local councillors to stop. However, join our campaign - write to Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment, food and rural affairs
Tell him that you want the government to take stronger action to force manufacturers and shops to stop putting unnecessary packaging round things and to make them take it back for reuse and recycling when we don't want it. If you've the time, buy your fruit and veg on the market using your re-usable cotton shopping bag (you have got one haven't you?). Feel good about putting a part of the profit into the pocket of local retailers and not using up the world's precious oil resources on plastic wrapping.

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