Sir, - I read with interest the two letters printed in your paper (D&S, July 30) with regard to the roll-out of the alternate weekly wheeled bin collection scheme.

Hambleton District Council, along with all other refuse collection authorities, have been set statutory targets to achieve by the Government in relation to recycling and composting of domestic waste. In addition the county council has to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste going to landfill by 65pc over the next 16 years with staged targets of 25pc by 2010 and 50pc by 2013.

Further to this the county council has been set a target for limiting landfill under the Waste Emissions Trading Act. Failure to meet these targets will result, in simple terms, the county council being subject to significant financial penalties.

It is in this climate that Hambleton and other waste collection authorities have had to look at different ways of collecting waste to separate out the recyclables and the green waste. In Hambleton's case we have taken a decision to put in place an alternate weekly collection of wheeled bins, with residual waste one week and garden waste the next. This system is now being used by nearly 33pc of local authorities.

Before taking a decision on what to do the council consulted residents as part of a county-wide waste strategy and investigated the different options available to increase recycling and composting.

Following this visits were made to other authorities to look at the systems they had put in before finally deciding on the current method.

About 19,000 properties in the district are now on the scheme and we are currently rolling it out to a further 11,500 properties mainly in the north and east of the district.

Due to the difficulties encountered last year in trying to deliver different-sized bins to properties, only to find the majority who went for smaller bins subsequently came back and requested larger ones, the council decided to deliver two standard-sized wheeled bins to each property.

There are of course some situations where other solutions are required instead of the standard bins, and council staff have been surveying the area to ascertain where these may be.

Unfortunately, work on the surveying is slightly behind schedule but discussions will take place with residents of properties where a different solution is to be applied.

The cost of implementing this scheme across the district is mainly in respect of purchasing the bins and putting bin lifts onto the refuse collection vehicles. I am pleased to say that the council received a grant from Defra to cover the cost of buying the green bins with the council paying for the remainder from its capital reserves.

The yearly revenue costs for operating the system and increasing the available recycling facilities are cost neutral in that the costs are around the same as the previous system.

This was one of the objectives of the council in deciding on the system so that it would not result in increased council tax bills.


Cabinet environment spokesman.

Hambleton District Council,


Great race

Sir, - Living in the Midlands, I've only just seen the correspondence on this year's Lyke Wake Race.

As a regular participant in the race, I was surprised and saddened by the complaints being made. I've taken part in every Lyke Wake Race since 1991, and have only known of one previous complaint in that time (and I thought that unjustified).

It's a very great responsibility, and takes a lot of effort, to organise a race of this type and requires many volunteers to give up a lot of time; many of the volunteers also travel long distances to man the checkpoints. Whatever the weather, they are always cheerful and encouraging; they do a wonderful job. I've also seen over the years the high priority given to safety.

The Lyke Wake Race is one of the classic Trail Races and only continues because of the support of a great bunch of volunteers, and of yourselves as sponsors. All deserve our thanks and support.


Back Lane,

Market Bosworth.

No amateurs?

Sir, - I have followed with interest the letters concerning the Lyke Wake Race. Obviously any walker who attempts any route for their own purpose is responsible for their own welfare and safety.

The Lyke Wake Race of July 10 was an organised event and as such there is a "duty of care" on the organisers to establish adequate support for the event irrespective of however long it takes the participants to complete the event.

I feel that to complete 42 miles across undulating moorland in poor weather conditions would tax the ability of even a good fell walker. Therefore to advertise the event in the local press so that those such as Margaret Land and her colleagues would respond to try to keep the event alive was perhaps unwise.

May I suggest that an event of this type with a rigid 12-hour deadline may be better advertised in a more elite running publication. That, however, would defeat the objective.

A G Hall

Brough Meadows,

Catterick Village.

Anglers beware

Sir, - Sea anglers should be aware of a Government proposal to impose a £22 annual licence on them for pursuing their sport. The proposal is rightly based on concern for conservation, but the Countryside Alliance seeks reassurance on a number of issues.

The projected £3m annual revenue that would be generated by this licence fee would probably not even pay for enforcement around the UK's 3,100-mile coastline, far less offer any tangible conservation benefits. Indeed, who would enforce this licence: at present the jurisdiction of the Environment Agency, which enforces inland rod licences, stops at the estuary.

Other concerns include defining exactly who would be licensed (trawler men, mackerel-spinning children, line-caught bass fishers?) and what the proposed "conservation measures" are.


Director, Campaign for Angling

Countryside Alliance,

Kennington Road,