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Queues at Hertfordshire Disposal Sites linked To Cut Backs

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shutterstock_284502005The end of summer is a popular time for a clear out, but getting rid of rubbish became a little bit more difficult for some of us this year, thanks to growing problems with queuing at local disposal sites. Many people who visited the busier waste and recycling centres, such as the one in Hemel Hempstead, found themselves waiting just to get in. The delays at the sites are partly due to the fact that we are in one of the busier periods of the year, but they may also be linked to the recent cut backs in opening hours at disposal sites across Hertfordshire.

Cutting Back on Waste Services

The cut backs are intended to significantly reduce costs for the council over the next few years, but they were initially intended to work by closing down some of the smaller sites rather than by reducing opening hours. The plan had to be changed after a consultation process revealed that local people were opposed to having any of the disposal sites closed down completely. The busy Hemel Hempstead site now opens five days a week, rather than seven, and its summer opening hours have also been cut by a couple of hours a day.

Investigating the Delays

Delays at the disposal sites have been more common this summer, after the reduced hours were put in place, and the council has now announced that it will review the situation in the face of growing numbers of complains. Hertfordshire County Council has seemed reluctant to admit that the problems might be linked to the cuts, according to the Gazette, but it has now accepted that the reduced hours may have exacerbated the problems caused by the busy period at the end of summer. The review will assess the impact that the recent changes to opening hours have had on the service, so we may soon see some new proposals for opening hours in the area. Residents who were opposed to the previously proposed closures will be hoping that the new solution will keep all of the sites open, even if the opening hours have to shift again.

Celebrating Compost Awareness Week

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International Compost Awareness Week, which is celebrated in early May every year, is a great reminder of the reasons why we should be composting. Turning food and garden waste into compost is a great way to cut down on the amount of waste that we send to landfill, but it is also a wonderful way to create nutritious compost that we can use to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers.

Composting is a sustainable and very affordable solution for waste that supports the natural nutrient cycles which keep our soil rich and our fields and gardens growing. It helps nutrients to pass from our waste back into the soil, where they can be taken up again by plants, and it helps all of the bugs and worms that keep our soil healthy. Composting also produces a lot less methane than allowing the same material to break down slowly in the low-oxygen environment of a landfill, and it can save as much carbon as our kettles produce in a year.

If you have a garden, it is very easy to start composting your own garden and food waste. If you don’t have room to compost, you can still ensure that your garden waste is recycled. Some councils will collect green waste along with the rest of your recycling, but you can also arrange a collection or take your garden waste to one of the local disposal sites if you have a lot of it.

Although we don’t often see what happens to our waste after we recycle it like this, Dacorum Borough Council has been celebrating Compost Awareness Week by showing local residents exactly how their garden waste ends up. The council has been giving away free bags of compost at its Cupid Green Depot in Hemel Hempstead. The compost, handed out on a first-come, first-served basis at the depot on May 10th, was produced from garden waste that was collected locally. The nutrient rich compost is ideal for nurturing young plants and encouraging tasty vegetables to sprout, and it provides an intriguing chance to see just what happens to our own recycled garden waste.

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