Residents who have strong views about the Council’s waste collection services — and who among us does not? — should seize the chance to let them know what you think of their plans for the future. They are consulting on their ‘Waste Prevention Action Plan 2007/08’ until Monday, 21 May. Each year the borough’s residents throw away enough waste to cover Twickenham Rugby Stadium with a pile of rubbish 50m deep.

In Richmond over 55,000 tonnes of household waste produced by 186,300 residents was landfilled during 2004/5; 24,000 tonnes of household waste was recycled by residents from the home and at the Reuse and Recycling Centre in Kew, a recycling rate of 28%. At present the UK dumps more household waste into landfill than any other EU state and at current growth rates England will need to divert some 10 million tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste by 2010 to meet the first Landfill Directive diversion target, otherwise heavy fines will be incurred. The council’s target is to reduce the municipal waste stream by 10,000 tonnes per year by 2020. If nothing is done the fine [Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) penalty] will be equivalent to £30 per household by 2012/13 and rising rapidly . .

Promoting the reduce and reuse message, the new plan details support and advice available to households to stop them creating so much waste. It covers topics including reusable nappies, waste-aware shopping and reusing unwanted items instead of binning and sending to landfill. The plan is designed to complement future improvements in the recycling service, which will give the borough one of the most comprehensive, source-separated, doorstep collection services in the country. Read all about it here and let them know what you think.

from Christopher J Squire