Are You a “Committed Recycler”? Would you go the extra mile to Recycle?Do you recycle everything? … These are some of the questions that I have been throwing across to people in many parts of Birmingham as a part of a survey on behalf of the City Council, to promote kerbside collection scheme and to gauge people's attitude to recycling. Of course, like many questions, I did get my fair share of encouraging responses, to none at all! For those of you reading this article, who knows I might have been to your doorstep as well!

So how do you gauge whether you are a Committed Recycler? According to the definition of WRAP, you are a committed recycler if:

  1. Recycling is very important to you

  2. You recycle everything that can be recycled

  3. You recycle even if it requires additional effort.

It would be premature at this stage to give any statistics on the number of committed recyclers, but to share a few findings with you, here are some observations.

a. I was particularly impressed by the number of elderly people doing their bit for recycling. They definitely preferred kerbside collection over carrying their waste to recycling banks.

b. Many people felt that a better doorstep recycling collection facility and having good information on what you can recycle, would definitely make them recycle more.

c. Of course, there were those as well, who have all the facility at their doorstep but give a reason of not having enough time or maybe thinking that it is just the council's work to recycle and not theirs!

d. Some strange reasons have also deterred recycling. Often I encountered instances wherein the bags for collection of paper had simply been blown away by the wind, leaving the residents with no option!

All in all, we have a mixed bag of people, the council, organisations like ours and of course the Questions that all us have as to when would be the day when we would wake up to the number of 100% Committed Recyclers.

Birmingham, as of now, is one of the low performers in the field of recycling. But if we all got our acts together not just as individuals but also as a community comprising the Council and all the stakeholders, that day is not far off when all our Questions would be answered………….