They won't recycle my shredded paper

A city pensioner has ripped into council bosses for refusing to take shredded paper for recycling - despite people being encouraged to dispose of sensitive material this way to prevent identity theft.

A city pensioner has ripped into council bosses for refusing to take shredded paper for recycling - despite people being encouraged to dispose of sensitive material this way to prevent identity theft.

Bert Sunderland, 71, has shredded bank statements and other sensitive documents for some time, but has always left them out for recycling.

But he was shocked when city council waste contractors refused to take boxes of shredded paper from his Rider Haggard Road home just before Christmas. The father of three, grandfather of seven and great grandfather of two who lives on the Heartsease estate with his wife Beryl, said the council's stance was “ridiculous”.

“Everyone is talking about the dangers of identity theft and to shred anything that has any information about you,” he said. “It might seem a small problem but they are selling these machines ten a penny and if you multiply that amount by 1,000 people, there's a considerable amount of good quality paper that's going to be chucked away.

“There might be a reasonable explanation as to why they won't collect it or process it, but it seems strange to me that all that paper is going to go in the ground with the rubbish.”

The retired TV engineer urged council bosses to reconsider their position because there was so much paper going to waste.

Most Read

A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said the authority could not accept shredded paper for recycling because shredding paper cuts the fibres so finely it reduces the quality of the paper, “making it unusable to most paper manufacturers who refuse to accept it”.

“Finely shredded pieces can also slip through and can clog up the machines used for recycling,” she said. “If you do choose to shred your confidential documents or letters, these can be placed in your composter alongside your vegetables and garden waste. Alternatively, the sensitive sections, such as the part of the bank statement that contains your name, address and account number, can be removed and shredded and the rest put in your recycling box.” A spokeswoman for Broadland District Council said it still took shredded paper for recycling. But householders were being advised to find alternative uses for the paper, like pet bedding, as there were problems with recycling it which have been compounded by the volume of shredded paper being collected.

Have you had problems trying to recycle? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or e-mail eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

It is not only shredded paper you cannot recycle - here is a list of some other problem items.

Ammunition/explosives

Clinical waste

Fireworks / flares

Hazardous waste - fertilizers, household chemicals, cleansers, asbestos, pesticides, liquid paint, thinners, wood preservatives, treatments, varnishes

Industrial batteries

Liquid waste other than motor oil - cooking oil, hydraulic fluid etc

More than one sack/one item of DIY waste

Motor vehicles and parts

Trade waste

Wrapping paper if covered in sticky tape and glitter or gum