As the latter stages of 2015 loom large, the pressure is on for the residents and council of Barnet to meet their 2016 target recycling rate of 50%. With the percentage of household waste being sent for reuse, recycling or composting nudging just under 40% in 2014, there is still a considerable task ahead for both Barnet council and residents.
Improvement to notice
Two areas where the borough is showing significant improvement have been in general household recycling and food waste collection. This has been particularly evident since Barnet council introduced blue bins for mixed household recycling and dedicated brown bins for food waste only. The appearance of these bins has helped bring recycling rates up from 33% to that 40% within a year and has encouraged many local households to now take an active role in recycling.
Notice to improve
However, there is a big area of waste disposal where Barnet residents could make better use of local opportunities – in the recycling of large and bulky items.Although Barnet council do offer a specific large and bulky waste collection service, this is one of the most expensive across the UK, with charges of £56.60 for single items such as beds and mattresses, along with a tiered charge for additional items. Similarly, Barnet currently charge £44.45 for the first electrical or white goods item and additional charges for further items.Although Barnet council will pick up and dispose of or recycle items appropriately for these charges, many families find themselves unable to meet these steep collection costs. This is something which one local Barnet blogger observes as contributing to a rise in fly-tipping in the area, something which ironically costs the council a significant amount to clean up.So what can Barnet residents do if they wish to be involved in recycling but can’t meet the cost of local council collection?
Local refuse and recycling facility
Households with their own transport can remove their own items to Barnet’s local Civic Amenity and Recycling Centre. This centre takes many types of item, including household and construction items and waste. However, residents are required to transport items to the centre themselves.
There are many national and local charities which accept large items of furniture and may also be happy to collect. However, many of these will not accept beds and mattresses for hygiene reasons, or electric items for safety reasons. Alternative donation methods include offering items via Yahoo’s Freegle network, where unwanted items can be picked up by those in need. This is ideal for families in need of household items such as beds and mattresses, although it does again rely on someone having the appropriate transport to make the pick up or drop off.Either type of donation is a great way to ensure that items which are still usable can continue to be useful, but there is still no guarantee that they will be responsibly recycled when they do eventually reach the end of their useful lives.
Private recycling services
Another alternative for Barnet residents to recycle beds and mattresses is to use a private collection service which guarantees 100% recycling. Although a national company, Collect Your Old Bed offers a fully reputable local service to all parts of London and charges minimal costs in comparison to local authority collection:
- Low prices for collection, starting from £11.99
- An easy on-line 3-step process to arrange collection via the Collect Your Old Bed website:
- Put in the postcode for collection
- Select the items to be collected
- Choose a collection date and add in contact details
- A professional service which guarantees 100% recycling of unwanted beds and mattresses. Materials from beds are recycled into many other items, including pet bedding, carpet backing and textile items from recycled mattress fabric, garden chippings and pet litter from recycled wood, as well as metal items made from recycled steel springs.
By using alternative methods for recycling, Barnet residents can make recycling affordable for themselves, without a cost to the environment. Additionally, such methods also reduce the cost of fly-tipping clean-up in the area as well as give local residents the chance to demonstrate that they are right on target with their responsible recycling aims.Barnet Borough Council Bulky Item collection information correct as of October 2015.