Online Editions

26th Jun, 2022

LETTERS: Your discussion from across the borough in this week's Observer

I am writing to respond to the Solihull Observer online article of June 26 where the Solihull Green Party criticised Solihull Council’s waste recycling performance.

Since 2000, Solihull has made significant progress in increasing levels of recycling. Over the past 17 years we have made recycling easier by providing the majority of properties with a comprehensive kerbside collection service and have also expanded the range of materials that we can collect at the kerbside. We also provide a free green (garden) waste service.

The last change we made to the recycling service was in 2014, when we moved from using kerbside boxes and bags to collect recycling to a two-stream collection system using a wheeled bin for paper, card, plastics, metal cans and cartons and a box for glass – properties that are unable to accommodate a wheeled bin are provided with clear plastic sacks for their recycling. The rationale behind this change was to make recycling easier (less separation of materials) and to provide more capacity for recyclable materials.

The changes resulted in an increase in levels of participation in the recycling service from 80% in 2014 to 90% in 2016. Recycling rates also increased from 39% in 2013/14 to 43% in 2015/16. Our ambition is to meet the national target of 50% by 2050. We also have a target of sending less than 10% of our waste to landfill – around 9% is currently sent to landfill with some waste incinerated at the energy-from-waste facility that we share with Coventry.

To suggest that Conservative-led Solihull Council is not committed to protecting our environment and preventing climate change is totally wrong. It is not appropriate to compare Solihull with the likes of South Oxfordshire which is a district council, not a metropolitan borough council like Solihull.

South Oxfordshire has moved to a fortnightly waste collection which incentivises residents to recycle more. South Oxfordshire council also collects food waste which improves its overall recycling rates. We have taken the decision not to collect food waste as we believe, in common with many other local authorities, that this is not an effective way of reducing waste and is too costly.

We will continue to explore cost-effective ways to improve our recycling rates and reduce further the amount we send to landfill. But, as a council we cannot do it alone: we rely on our residents to help us by recycling more. I believe that working together, we can improve our performance and at a cost that is manageable for residents.

Councillor Tony Dicicco

Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

In last week’s Solihull Observer, it was reported that Solihull MP Julian Knight had pressed the Prime Minister to secure a trade deal with the EU that supported companies such as JLR.

Who could argue with that?

Well. Ralph Speth, the boss of JLR has repeatedly warned the government that Britain’s most successful vehicle manufacturer is at risk. He said, ‘’we built up this company over eight years, all that will be undone, we can go down the river so quickly unless we remain fully integrated with the Single Market and Customs Union’’.

Unfortunately, Julian Knight has been unwilling to spell out with the same clarity how the government can protect these vital manufacturing companies.

The government must accept that any deal or ‘’no deal’’ will not deliver on the promises made during the referendum and so the people should be given the final say in a ‘’peoples vote’’ when the negotiations are concluded.

Phil Beyer Solihull

As a keen walker I’m delighted to be supporting Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer’s Walk Together to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by the disease. My mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer and is thankfully now recovered, so I know how important it is to raise awareness.

Walk Together is a perfect opportunity to bring people together from all “walks” of life, to show our support for those undergoing treatment, remember loved ones and help stop people dying from bowel cancer. It’s a sponsored walk for people of all ages and abilities.

Bowel cancer is the UK’s fourth most common cancer and the second biggest cancer killer. Every year almost 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer and more than 16,000 people die from the disease. However it’s treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.

Sign up to the walk in London on Saturday 15 September or to receive a fundraising pack with everything you need to hold your own memorable walk, visit: bowelcanceruk.org.uk/walktogether

If you need inspiration on walks in your area, visit The Outdoor Guide: theoutdoorguide.co.uk

Julia Bradbury

TV presenter and co-founder of walking site The Outdoor Guide

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