AN OVERFLOWING group of bottle banks in a Four Marks car park has been cleared by East Hampshire District Council following a complaint to the Herald from a resident.
Last Thursday Brian Wagstaff from Beech sent the Herald a picture of the glass bottles near the BP petrol station and asked if the paper could help him do something about it.
An East Hampshire spokesperson said on Wednesday: “This site in Four Marks was cleared yesterday. East Hampshire District Council also issued information last week regarding the frequency of collections at these glass recycling areas. You will find it at https://www.easthants.gov.uk/news/
However Mr Wagstaff feels such problems may become more frequent as East Hampshire makes only kerbside collections of glass every two weeks and Hampshire County Council has removed all the bottle banks from its 24 household waste recycling centres.
He said: “The fortnightly collection, I suggest, is insufficient at present. The pandemic has changed lifestyles, with fewer holidays being taken and people spending more time at home.”
Cllr Rob Humby, the deputy leader of Hampshire County Council and the executive lead member for the economy, transport and the environment, said: “Glass banks were removed from Hampshire County Council’s household waste recycling centres on July 1, following a decision made in October 2020.
“This move was due to be implemented on April 1 but was postponed because of the pandemic response.
“The decision was made in the light of steadily-decreasing deposits of glass at household waste recycling centres, as well as the cost of the glass banks at household waste recycling centres now outweighing the value of the material from re-sale, meaning the service operates at a loss.”
Empty glass beer and milk bottles were once routinely collected, cleaned and re-used by brewers and dairies, and shops added a deposit to the cost of a bottle of soft drink which was given back to the customer on return of the glass bottle.
Mr Wagstaff said while there was now “no profit to be made from the disposal of glass” the county council should still do it as a provider of public services.
He added: “If the country is to reduce the use of plastic then the use of glass bottles is likely to increase and recycling becomes more important.
“However, I’m not sure councils think that far ahead.”