Petition pleads: please bin the bags!

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A PETITION calling on East Renfrewshire council to review its recycling system has gathered over 1,000 signatures in a week.

Woodfarm resident Jackie Barron has asked for bins to replace the green and white bags and blue boxes currently issued by ERC, which she says frequently blow away and empty during bad weather — and 1,016 residents have backed her campaign.

Jackie told The Extra: “I didn’t realise how many people outwith my circle of friends were experiencing the same thing, and they’ve since highlighted issues I hadn’t thought of.

“One lady commented that she’s disabled and can’t carry the blue box. There were also reports of a rat infestation in Barrhead, because people weren’t cleaning their tins properly before putting them out.”

After losing her recycling bags to high winds four times this year, Jackie and family approached the council to ask for replacements — to be told that there were none in stock until in the end of January.

She added: “I appreciate bins aren’t the most attractive items to have at the side of your house but they’re the most efficient.

“I know there would be a cost to giving everyone bins but if Glasgow can do it, so can East Renfrewshire council — and I’d be quite happy to pay something for them.”

The petition — to be submitted to the council this week — sparked debate on Facebook community group A representative agreed that changes could improve recycling in East Ren, commenting: “It’s clear from the comments on our page that people believe there should be some changes made.

“We wonder if the current system might make it difficult for some people to recycle as much as they’d like to, and would be interested in the medium and long-term costs of the current system, compared to more robust alternatives.”

In September 2013, an Extra story prompted debate over the way in which East Ren residents should be asked to recycle — an ERC spokesman commented that the council had “not ruled out wheeled bin collections in the future but at present, cost and quality factors prevent us from doing so.”

This week, he responded: “Unfortunately at present we do not have the finances in place to offer a wheeled bin recycling service to all residents of East Renfrewshire.

“All our services undergo regular review and we will certainly take into consideration the feedback from residents on this matter.”

Turn to letters, p24.