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Could Crawley refuse collection change to fortnightly?

After two areas not far away decide to change weekly collections to fortnightly due to low recycling figures, could Crawley be next?

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Not too far away in Adur and Worthing change is afoot.

The council have just agreed to change the household waste collection service from weekly to fortnightly.

This change wont start till Sept next year but it is quite a dramatic move for residents.

An EU target was set for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020.  Currently in Adur and Worthing the rates are in the mid 30’s so an increase is required.

This is thought to be one of the main reasons why they voted for this change.

So what has this got to do with Crawley?

Well last year the published figures for recycling in Crawley were only 27.4%.  Almost 10% lower than Worthing.

But before everyone suddenly starts thinking that people in this area don’t recycle it is important to understand why the figures here come out lower.

It is all to do with the fact that Crawley is a predominantly urban area.  Why does this matter?  Because the way the figures are compiled they have to add both the dry mixed recycling and the garden waste figures together to get a final percentage.

In urban areas where the gardens are smaller and/or where there are a lot of flats, this means the garden waste percentage is going to be much smaller, dragging down the overall recycling figure.

In the case of Crawley the 27.4% is made up of 22.7% dry mixed recycling and only 4.7% composting.

So could a fortnightly refuse collection become a reality here?

Nothing can ever be ruled out but initial reactions from the majority of Labour and Conservative councillors in the town point towards looking at other options rather than making such a dramatic decision.

Conservative Leader Duncan Crow said:

“This would not be on the agenda for Crawley and not something I would advocate.  Crawley has so many flats where it is difficult to store refuse for longer periods of time.  I don’t see the need to change our current situation.”

Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb took a different approach and on twitter commented:

“In Crawley, Crawley Labour believes that this is a decision which should be left to residents. No introduction of weekly collections without it being put to the voters at election time.”

The truth is that only time will tell and as Crawley continues to grow then so will the demand for refuse collection.

One thing worth noting and explained directly by the council, is that while Crawley’s overall recycling figure is low, in terms of waste hierarchy (reduce, reuse, recycle) then Crawley residents actually perform very well, producing one of the lowest amounts of waste per person in the country.  The town is 11th lowest at 291.2kg per person.

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Leave your cars at home on June 20th urges Crawley Council

Crawley Borough Council is urging residents to support Clean Air Day and leave their cars at home on 20 June.

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Clean Air Day is an annual event that aims to encourage people across the country to choose a sustainable mode of travel and help reduce air pollution.

This year, the council is supporting the Sustainable Transport eVent on 19 June, to help local businesses discover opportunities to play their part in making Crawley air cleaner. The event will show companies how staff can take up different commuting options to reduce the number of cars on the road with only one person. There will also be showcases for electric vehicles and other sustainable working practices which can all help to reduce air pollution.

Air quality will also feature at the next annual Junior Citizen event, with the aim of supporting the next generation to walk, cycle, scoot and take public transport to help reduce pollution and keep fit and healthy.

For local residents, there are plenty of ways to reduce air pollution, both inside your home and outside:

  • Walk, cycle, scoot or run! In a car, you’re exposed to 10 times more pollution than as a pedestrian. This is because car exhaust fumes from the car in front gets sucked into the car, with air filters having little effect, meaning you breathe in lots more pollution
  • Air pollution is more concentrated around busier roads. Walking through parks or quieter pedestrianised areas can significantly reduce the amount of pollution you are exposed to and make a nicer journey
  • Regularly service your boiler; this will ensure fuel is burnt cleanly and prevent carbon dioxide from building up
  • Choose low-or no-chemical cleaning, DIY and personal care products, fragrance free cleaning products, roll on deodorants and “low VOC” paint products alternatives

Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, Councillor Geraint Thomas, said:

“Air pollution is a big health and environmental issue, but there are things that we can all do to make ourselves and others safer and healthier. Whether you leave the car at home once or twice a week, switch to an electric vehicle or public transport or make changes to the products you use, it all makes a difference.

“It’s important that we tackle the issue of air pollution together on Clean Air Day, so we can breathe cleaner air in the future.”

The Sustainable Transport eVent on 19 June is part of the Sussex ECO Grant Scheme which also offers financial assistance for businesses working towards energy saving schemes.

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