Winter spring clean for Cherwell's bottle banks

Earlier this year Cherwell District Council (CDC) undertook its Annual Resident’s Survey and one of the things people consistently said was that the more than 100 bottle-banks in the district were becoming grotty and untidy.
Scott Carroll at workScott Carroll at work
Scott Carroll at work

As a result CDC responded by sending Scott Carroll on a mission armed with a battery of cleaning equipment and a willingness to deploy effort and elbow grease.

During October and November, Scott – whose normal job is to deliver bins to newly built homes or provide replacement bins to households who’ve reported theirs to be broken – has hit the road and has been visiting the glass recycling bring-banks one by one and leaving them in far better condition than the way he found them.

Scott, who lives in Steeple Claydon, said: “People have been correct to say that some of them have been in a poor condition. I’ve been scraping off algae and grime and then using a pressure washer before applying new stickers to them.

Bottle or bring-banks are looking tattyBottle or bring-banks are looking tatty
Bottle or bring-banks are looking tatty

“I’ve also been making sure graffiti is removed. We do try to tidy each site up regularly but this job has been more of a deep clean. I’ve been spending about an hour at each one and giving them a very thorough clean.

“One of the things we always notice is that people often use the bring-banks as a place to dump other rubbish. I’ve even seen mattresses. That tends to make the place look as untidy as the general cleanliness of the facilities.

“The job requires gloves, a brush, a broom, a pressure washer, barrels of water, cleaning equipment, graffiti wipes and a trusty van.

"As you’d expect in Autumn I’ve been out in all kinds of weathers – I much prefer the cold weather with clear skies than the days when it is bucketing down with rain.

After Scott has done his jobAfter Scott has done his job
After Scott has done his job

“The satisfaction comes from comparing the condition of the sites before and after the work and then moving on to the next site to do the same job all over again.

“We know that people wanted this job doing so we’re glad to be getting on and doing it. We hope they notice the difference next time they visit one of the sites.”

Almost 1,000 people responded to the council’s survey last Spring. Most councils undertake such surveys and seek to act on issues raised.

Facts about glass recycling in Cherwell

- Cherwell District Council recycles around 3,000 tonnes of glass in the district each year.

- All of the glass collected is made back into bottles and jars - this is possible because the colours are separated at are bring banks sites.

- Recycling glass in separate colours saves over £158,000 per year.

- The district saves over 1,000 tonnes of Co2 each year by recycling glass, the same as taking 400 cars off the road.

- Last year CDC recycled more than 5.5 million glass bottles and jars.