Oh. Good. Grief. This is one of those Wonko the Sane moments. Michael Reeves, a Swansea journalist, has been fined £200 for allegedly putting a piece of junk mail into the wrong recycling bag. What? I mean WHAT??. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m generally in favour of recycling, but it seems to be that in some places, the Powers That Be are getting a bit too stroppy. In this area, all households are given a plastic box for recylable material. You put your papers, magazines, bottles, cans and, err, well, I think that’s about all, actually. Once a fortnight, you leave the box outside your house, and people come and collect it. Sorting it into categories is the responsibility of the collectors. Nice and simple, and quite a lot of people go along with it.
But in Swansea, it seems, it’s a bit different. People are expected to put recylcable materials into separate bags – one for paper, one for bottles and cans. That’s a bit more effort, but not too bad, I suppose. What is too bad is this
if the items were mixed in the same bag then it would be sent to landfill instead as the council’s recycling collection team refused to pick it up
Now, I’d say that the problem here is that the recycling collection team are the problem, but under the Environmental Protection Act, councils can now set arbitrary regulations and fine anyone who doesn’t jump through the appropriate hoops at the right angle while whistling the correct tune. Apparently
Mr Reeves was served with a warning notice in April this year when he put his bins out a day early because he was going on holiday
Mr Reeves says he’s given up recycling. Not surprising, considering how expensive it can be.
 With numerous mumbles about the way some local authorities hand the recycling aspect of waste collection to private companies who can make lots of money from our old newspapers, bottles and cans