Plastics promise

SOUTH Gloucestershire Council insists that hard plastics left at its Sort It centre in Mangotsfield are still being recycled, despite the removal of a dedicated collection bay.

Rigid plastics that cannot be left out for kerbside collection, such as garden furniture and toys, have been collected at the tip in Carsons Road for several years. The dedicated bay was removed earlier this year, and the space is now used for wood recycling.

The change was not widely publicised by the council and when Mangotsfield residents Mike and Linda Reeves went to the centre to dispose of some plastic items Mike says staff could only tell him there had been a directive to put all hard plastics in with general waste.

A council spokesperson said the rigid plastic collection bay had been removed to make way for a separate collection point for soft and stuffed furnishings such as sofas, in line with rules on these so-called Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Visitors who ask about the change should be given leaflets about the changes, the spokesperson said, adding: “The changes were due to limited space on site to allow us to segregate the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS) materials and separately collect rigid plastics. Rigid plastics are now placed in with the general waste pile at the recycling centres, which is then sent to a facility in Bristol which sorts the waste and removes recyclable materials, including rigid plastics.”

Mike said: “It’s ridiculous to do this when people were already separating the plastic out. It’s doubling the work – somebody’s got to watch it go through a conveyor belt and pick out the plastic from the rubbish.”

The council says rigid plastics can be “easily separated” at the site in Bristol. The stuffed furnishings are sent to an “energy from waste” for incineration.