Letters: the answer to our recycling problem lies in consumer awareness – and a little imagination

GEORGE Rennie (Letters, October 3) makes some very apt and interesting points about the long-awaited depository system and its inherent bureaucratic problems.

There are, however, models of successful projects across the North Sea and I understand that these systems are being studied closely. Hopefully such a scheme can also materialize in Scotland.

Scotland’s recycling figures are indeed disappointing, but I am not entirely convinced by the proposition that local authorities should weigh and record the contents of individual household bins. Somewhere before recycling comes consumer awareness of waste, understanding of design issues, and considerations of ways to reuse. I would be disappointed if households whose members habitually purchased heavily packaged (albeit recyclable) products were rewarded while those who reject excessive packaging when purchasing were penalized.

Why give the profits to those who send the glass for recycling, rather than to those who fill their containers, make jams, pickles, etc.? ? What about those who buy tomatoes in plastic boxes, rather than those who weigh fruits and vegetables in paper bags (compostable at home)? Think about those plastic Easter eggs and the alternatives available. So while I’m not rushing the writer’s ideas, this can’t quite be the way to go.

Back to that glass: mixed glass recycling is energy-intensive and usually results in an excess of brown glass and a shortage of the most needed clear product. Undamaged glass is, after all, almost infinitely reusable. Just consider the range of tightly molded gin bottles. How difficult would it be, for example, for those who make deliveries in the hospitality industry to ensure that their vans are returned with the empties lifted? Yes, just as was the norm for much cheaper milk bottles.

In Spain, I see pretty cast glass mineral water bottles with detachable recyclable aluminum lids sitting on tables. These are sent back to the factories to be filled. It’s possible.

It’s just a small thing, which deployed could make a difference.
Beth McDonough, Dundee

We have to stop the idiocy of the wind

JOHN Urquhart (Letters, October 4) seems to think it’s a good idea to place wind turbines in the Trossachs National Park. There is a reason why wind turbines are not placed in urban residential environments. They are massive and noisy industrial machines. Anyone who has stood within 100 yards of one of these monstrosities is aware of this fact. Nobody wants them to be located close to their communities.

Spraying wind turbines in the beautiful Scottish countryside is an abomination. If this was done at the behest of the government in Westminster there would be riots but anything is okay with an SNP/green whitewash. It’s also debatable whether the purported green credentials add up, given the backup power generation required, environmental damage from roads and wiring, tons of concrete and steel needed for construction, and the limited lifespan of their non-recyclable blades. This nonsense must stop.
Christopher Collins, larbert

Surface Error Catalog

I retired earlier this month after a career spanning more than 50 years supervising major road construction projects, mostly overseas. Having just returned to Scotland, it was with some professional interest that I observed a long resurfacing operation in Spencer Street, just off Fulton Street, Glasgow G13.

Someone who knows these things once told me that because of the famous ‘conservative cuts’ Glasgow can only afford to resurface its roads every 40-50 years.

You can therefore expect that when he performs a resurfacing operation, he will perform to the highest standards, given the duration of the operation. You would be wrong.

I honestly can’t remember ever seeing such a catalog of mistakes incorporated into a bituminous road paving project, not the least of which is laying two layers of asphalt over a leaking, leaking water pipe, my acquaintance, for more than two years; the water is already seeping through the new surface. I give this road surface five years of effective life at most; not the 15 years that are surely expected.

If this is the general standard of work performed by this council, and my observations of other recent resurfacing operations lead me to conclude that this is the case, heads must be rolling. This means, in effect, that a cash-strapped council is paying three times the actual cost for every square meter of road it repairs.
J McCluskey, Glasgow

Hunger for proper use

REGARDING recent correspondence on grammar and punctuation: Teenagers, as we all know or even remember, are constantly hungry and eat anything that isn’t nailed down. I am lucky to be the grandmother of several of these beings. That’s why I’m very interested in getting the comma to appear correctly in the sentence “Let’s eat, grandma”.
Catherine Hutchison, Keith

The killjoys of the kilt?

YOUR front-page photo of King Charles wearing Dunfermline’s costume (“King of the Town,” The Herald Oct. 4) is heart-warming. However, on reflection, I do not recall a single photograph of either of his sons wearing a kilt. End of an era?
Roddy MacDonald, Ayr

Crosswords ?

I wonder how long it took the provocative 2 of 20 Across – “BE QUIET, LIE IN HAZE (5,9,2) – in this month’s Giant Crossword (Clootie, The Herald, October 3) to stir up the usual hornet’s nest among a certain section of the Herald letterati?
James MacLeod, Glasgow

Chewing on the toast

MARK Bratchpiece’s letter (October 4) quoting the Hebrew toast “L’chaim”, meaning “To life”, has me scrambling for my Google dictionary. Further research reveals a song by Fiddler on the Roof, with the lines “L’chaim, l’chaim, to life / Here’s to the father I try to be! / Here’s to my bride to be!”.

At my age, the last line might be a bit stretched, although Will Fyfe did sing “getting married on Thursday, even though I’m 94 today”. The hostess is not aware of this letter.
David Miller, Milngavie

Is mixed glass recycling as efficient as it could be?

Letters should not exceed 500 words. We reserve the right to modify submissions.