House Notes with Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood
AS you squash your Echo into your recycling this week, take a bow. Cheltenham is hitting record recycling levels these days, occasionally hitting 50 per cent of household waste.
Green tsar Councillor Roger Whyborn should be chuffed, but it's Cheltenham people who are increasingly recycling cardboard, glass, cans, plastic bottles and paper in green boxes.
They are the ones composting or brown-binning garden waste and then making occasional tip trips to recycle clothes, shoes, lightbulbs, batteries, heavy duty cardboard, hard plastic, metal, aluminium foil and more.
And just as the world is being told to waste less food, more and more Cheltonians are recycling any food we don't eat too.
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Incredibly, as recently as 2001 we were recycling just five per cent of our rubbish.
With green technology fast improving, zero waste the official national strategy and business increasingly generating less unrecyclable waste in the first place, surely the only way is up.
How crazy then is the county council's plan for an incinerator which assumes we'll never manage more than 70 per cent, even over 25 years.
The incinerator is highly controversial too because it will generate the kind of toxic fly ash that ends up at Wingmoor Farm north of Cheltenham.
The pro-incinerator camp try reassure people by saying ours will (probably) be driven to Peterborough instead!
Lucky old Peterborough.
What's more, the county's own consultants now predict there will be too many incinerators in Britain anyway by 2015.
And it's not just fluffy green Lib Dems that object.
UKIP EuroMP Lord Dartmouth has said the incinerator planning process 'smacks of maladministration'.
Join the objectors at www.glosvain.info.
Highlights of the week:
Monday: Great night out at Whaddon Road. Cheltenham stormed to an, um, 5-1 defeat against premiership giants Everton, but they showed fantastic spirit and energy.
The scoreline doesn't do them justice and the atmosphere was fantastic.
Wednesday: Remember my private member's bill to introduce a statutory Code of Practice to protect local pubs against predatory big pub companies?
Victory at last: Lib Dem ministers Jo Swinson and Vince Cable announced just that, with a new pubs adjudicator to make it fair. Sounds like a good job.