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Steptoe and Son could ride again

PUBLISHED: 10:10 03 November 2008 | UPDATED: 07:45 01 August 2010

A COUNCIL is considering reviving the traditional rag and bone man to get people to go greener.

Officers at South Norfolk Council are looking to trial occasional rag and bone collections in selected towns and villages to improve recycling rates.

A COUNCIL is considering reviving the traditional rag and bone man to get people to go greener.

Officers at South Norfolk Council are looking to trial occasional rag and bone collections in selected towns and villages to improve recycling rates.

Crews would collect materials such as books, small electrical items, plant pots, crockery and cardboard from community collection points at specified dates and times.

South Norfolk Council officers are drawing inspiration from the rag and bone man as part of a drive to get Best In Recycling status.

It currently has a recycling rate of 38.48pc having brought in green recycling bins between 2002 and 2006 alongside mini recycling centres and a recent brown bin garden waste scheme.

Figures for 2006/7 placed south Norfolk as the 17th best performer for dry recyclables and 147th for combined composting and recycling rates.

But the council is determined to improve its rates. Officers are also looking into pilot facilities where people can recycle “novel materials” including toys and bras.

The ideas will be discussed by the council's environmental health and recycling committee today. A report states: “Officers are investigating the feasibility of a range of recycling initiatives in the style of the rag and bone man, but centred on community collection points at specified dates and times. This would require close working with the local town/parish council, but it is believed that this could be provided within existing resources.”

David Bills, the council's cabinet member for environment, health, recycling and safety, said: “People have got used to the twice weekly collections now, so we wanted to look at doing something a bit different, so we have come up with three or four ideas.

“We looked at the old concept of rag and bone men to see if we could draw on that. The idea is that we would tell people in advance what we would be collecting.

“For example we might say that in Hethersett, next Tuesday, we will be collecting books, and everyone should take those along to a certain car park.

“Whatever we collected would be recycled using one of our normal methods, such as giving them to a charity or a company which re-uses them.”

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