Household recycling does not work

Subject: Household recycling does not work
From: M Matsi
Date: 24 Aug 2016

Dear Councils of Great Britain

If I may be so bold your policy on household recycling is pants. You are wasting money on a spectacular level paying people to sort through, well, people's shoddy recycling, most likely including their own.

So why are people not recycling correctly? Because they are confused. That includes me. Apparently I can recycle a yoghurt pot but cannot recycle plastic contaminated by food. But if I wash my plastic pot contaminated by yoghurt, will it be good to go? Or because it's a yoghurt pot it can go anyway? Indeed I could go on.

It is at best naive, and at worst stupid to think that one can educate the masses - about anything. It's impossible. Recycling is no exception and current guidelines are complicated and very easy to get wrong. A rushed parent, a small child, an angry pupil, a foreign guest in the house - someone somewhere is going to get it wrong, and there is your contaminated bin in an instant.

The solution is to simplify what is to be recycled. Let us not worry about recycling EVERYTHING that can be recycled. Let us concentrate instead on recycling certain things correctly, and if we can ALL get ALL of those things right ALL of the time then the battle has been, to all intents and purposes, won.

I therefore suggest that people only recycle things that are obvious: bottles, tins, glass, paper and cardboard. Nothing else. Then if you want to employ people to sort through non-recyclables for things such as plastic and aluminium foil then that's up to you.

I look forward to a much less painful recycling programme.

With good wishes

M Matsi - parent, teacher, lover of planet earth