Charles Graham - Hampering public’s recycling efforts

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THERE was a wonderful picture in one or more of the nationals the other day of 91-year-old Alan Cresswell towing his green wheelie bin along the road with his mobility scooter.

I could do with something like that.

Like everyone else in Wigan borough I haven’t had my garden waste bin emptied since some time in the autumn and it’s not because of the cuts.

This happens every year. I know we don’t have as much horticultural detritus in the winter as summer because those with lawns don’t cut them and there’s less weeding to do.

But my green bin has been full of rotting leaves for several months now.

What’s more, almost all of them have fallen off trees not in my garden but on adjoining council land. I’ve nowhere for a compost heap so what am I supposed to do? Chuck ‘em back over the fence or dig out the rotting stuff into bags and drive them to a tip (using eco-unfriendly petrol) to ditch it?

I’m sorry but I’ve got a bit of a downer on the bins at the moment. Having had an artificial spruce for several years now I wasn’t affected by the unannounced abandonment this year of the 12th night Christmas tree collection.

But many are the people who complain to me about the irritating habit the waste disposal operatives have of always collecting the brown recycling bins at the crack of dawn. Containing so much glass they are of course by far the noisiest containers to deal with so why do they always seem to be shattering the 7am peace?

I suppose there is no avoiding the other cause of my moaning: the insistance in carrying out black bin-emptying on main roads right in the middle of the morning rush hour.

Trying to get from Broad ‘Oth’ Lane to Shevington High School last Thursday was once again an utter nightmare because all the hundreds of cars trying to get to Standish or the motorway had to go at the same speed as the wagon and its bin-emptying foot soldiers.

You try to get rid of rubbish yourself and remember that Frog Lane tip has been shut (because it was too popular!) and many has been the time I have tried the Orrell one only to find its gates closed with a sign telling visitors it’s full (little wonder if Frog Lane’s not working anymore).

I am doing my best to do my recycling bit. Only 32 per cent of waste in Wigan is recycled at the moment, which puts the borough in the North West’s bottom third (granted it started from a very bad position indeed). But in some ways things are not being made easy for us to improve that record.