The waste land

PUBLISHED: 10:28 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

SIR, — Some 47 years of relative marital harmony in this household have been distressingly disturbed by St Albans District Council s new waste collection scheme under its all-pervasive recycling banner. We are perforce required to make agonising decision

SIR, - Some 47 years of relative marital harmony in this household have been distressingly disturbed by St Albans District Council's new waste collection scheme under its all-pervasive recycling banner.

We are perforce required to make agonising decisions as to which categories of waste should be placed in which of the provided receptacles - numbering four at the last count.

Critical differences of opinion inevitably arise when the household comprises two strong-minded decision-makers. Clashes of will are apt to come bubbling to the surface each time an item of waste becomes ready for disposal.

In this context all council tax payers should perhaps be required to enrol in a course of chemistry, enabling them to identify different types of plastic, allowing them to distinguish between those that can be recycled (grey box) and those that can't (black wheelie bin). As things stand, the categorisation of plastic bottles, boxes and other packaging prompts heated debate among non-specialised members of the population.

Then we come to paper waste. How thick or stiff does paper have to be before it becomes designated as "cardboard"? Once again we risk losing sleep as we wrestle with the problem of deciding on the appropriate destination for the material - either the green box (paper) or the green "compostable waste" wheelie bin (cardboard).

"Yellow Pages" directories are singled out for special mention in the council waste directives. But white-paged directories are left metaphorically hanging in the air and, as such, form another reliable subject for heated domestic argument.

I could go on but I would only be shouted down by my wife telling me not to make a fuss about such a trivial matter.

ALAN BUNTING,

Ridgewood Drive, Harpenden.

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