The past few months have seen many exciting projects begin to take shape in our borough.
From the continuing progress on our exciting Hemel Evolution programme to the redevelopment of Leisure World at Jarmans Park to provide a refurbished ice rink and new family dining restaurants.
And over the summer we had the opening event for the Old Town High Street and the excitement of the Tour of Britain finish line.
Whilst all this has been happening a lot of behind the scenes work and planning has also gone into another launch, the new Recycle for Dacorum (R4D) waste collection service.
The catalyst for the change was the need to remove cardboard and other material from the garden waste to improve the compost quality we also took the opportunity to look at the whole service to make the process of recycling as easy as possible for residents and capture more material.
The introduction of the new kerbside caddy and blue lidded bin means an end to the need to sort different material in to separate boxes with the recycling now going in to one bin with the ability to include additional items such as tin foil and food and drink cartons such as Tetra Paks, making recycling easier for all.
I am delighted that the first week saw an excellent take up of the new recycling bins and kitchen caddies with 316 tonnes of recyclable material collected along with 70 tonnes of food waste.
This already represents an increase over the amount collected previously. We also collected over 45.000 of the old recycling boxes which will themselves be recycled.
Whilst the changeover has gone very well I know there are always snags with such a big change and the introduction of a new smaller kitchen caddy (5 litres) compared to the one that was issued with the original wheeled bins in 2002 (10 litre size) has caused some confusion regarding the liners.
If anyone would like a new 5 litre caddy they can be collected from Dacorum’s offices or ordered online at www.dacorum.gov.uk/recycling
I know from email and online comments that there are a few people that believe all of the material is just mixed together and not all of it gets recycled as well as uncertainty over the benefits.
I can assure you that all of the recyclables collected are recycled even though they are mixed together. The facility that sorts your recyclables has so far been impressed with the quality as there has been very little contamination.
There is the obvious environmental benefit of reusing material rather than sending it to landfill and there is also the financial benefit of reduced collection costs and landfill taxes.
Unlike some councils we are also continuing to collect garden waste in the green bins in the busiest months from mid February through to November.
All of this only works because of the excellent support from Dacorum residents and I would like to thank you all for helping to make R4D such a success in increasing our recycling rates which I’m sure we can push up from 48% to nearer 60%.
I would like to finish by wishing everyone a very merry Christmas and happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.