What a waste

PUBLISHED: 11:39 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

SIR, — St Albans District Council is now asking us to put our cardboard waste in the same wheelie bin as our compostable garden waste. Till now, or at least for the past couple of years, we have placed our cardboard in a dedicated bag for separate fortnig

SIR, - St Albans District Council is now asking us to put our cardboard waste in the same wheelie bin as our compostable garden waste. Till now, or at least for the past couple of years, we have placed our cardboard in a dedicated bag for separate fortnightly collection. During that time I have assumed, perhaps wrongly, that it was then dispatched for recycling into new, albeit low-grade, paper and board products.

I imagined such recycling helped to conserve trees in Scandinavia and elsewhere, which would otherwise have been cut down for paper and board production. Such a strategy made particular sense in the context of today's global warming concerns and the need to maximise the area of CO2-absorbing forests.

It appears that our waste cardboard will now be mashed up with our grass cuttings, hedge trimmings and now also kitchen waste for turning into compost. I don't regard that as recycling in the spirit of "new products for old".

Perhaps someone from the district council could correct any of my above assumptions and spell out the reasons for this apparently retrograde move.

At the same time could he or she answer the following questions: what is the destination of the cardboard-laced compostable waste?

And will it be turned into a useful horticultural product available at garden centres, or will it be dumped at a landfill site where environmental benefits will be non-existent?

ALAN BUNTING

Ridgewood Drive, Harpenden.

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