Ramsgate Central Harbour Councillors Becky Wing, Raushan Ara and Tricia Austin have launched a simple practical scheme to help residents without access to kerbside services recycle their waste.
The Blue Bin Buddies scheme, launched today (September 1), will pair up residents who don’t have their recycling collected by Thanet council with someone nearby who has spare space in their blue or red recycling containers.
Launching the scheme, Cllr Austin (pictured) said: “This is something that’s worked informally between friends for a while, but as 22% of Thanet households have no domestic recycling collection, we wanted to try extending it.
“We’ll keep a list of people without access to home recycling and put them in touch with others living nearby who can offer spare space in their recycling containers. This is a pilot scheme just operating in Ramsgate Central Harbour ward for now, but if it works well there’s no reason why it shouldn’t expand.”
Ramsgate resident Ian Shacklock from St Augustine’s Road is now dropping his paper and card recycling off into the red bin belonging to neighbour Garry Saunders in Grange Road. Garry said: “We have lots of spare space in our recycling bins, and we’re delighted to see Ian make use of it!”
Ian said: “Thanet’s recycling rates are low and don’t seem to be improving. For people like me who don’t have a car, the journey by bike to Westwood Cross or Broadstairs railway station to take our plastics and paper for recycling is quite a trek – which is why I really welcome this new initiative from our Central Harbour ward councillors.”
Ian has been urging local supermarkets to increase their recycling facilities and has also launched a petition to encourage Thanet District Council to improve its recycling services, from extended kerbside recycling to introducing small recycling bins alongside ordinary waste bins in town centres, as many other councils have.
He said: “We need to normalise recycling, so it’s a habit – something we all just do automatically. We’ve declared a Climate Emergency in Thanet, and this is a simple way we can all contribute, if our local council does its bit too.”
Ian’s petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/p/thanet-district-council-please-provide-decent-recycling-facilities-in-thanet