Monthly Archives: March 2015

message to matt mullenweg: Part 2


This is a continuation of my previous post

I have made sure this time that I didn’t copy the title off my original post and hope that I can manage to keep the format readable!

photo of Matt Mullenweg, taken in 2014 (found on his website)

photo of Matt Mullenweg, taken in 2014 (found on his website)

To continue – and I will try and be as brief as possible, altho that may not be possible – I went looking for someone to tell about the formatting problems I have been having.  If you start off in ‘classic editing mode’, and once you have saved and previewed your post, you do not check that you have got back to classic editing mode, the system automatically transfers you to “edit lite” which may not be a problem at first, but has certainly been extremely problematic if you need to go back to that already published post to edit something or add some new information.  See my post “test on chrome”

Now the “Happiness Engineers” (HE from now on), have been as helpful as they can be, but are loathe to take this to anyone who needs to know – the formatting problem eventually has been referred to the technical crew, but the other stuff mentioned in my last attempt to tell you about this, was not, and no explanation of why it happened was ever forthcoming.


So MATT – I thought you ought to know, because it seems it was you that have designed “edit lite”

and have proudly displayed it on one of the posts about themes etc on  The idea of creating a fast and easy editing mode is fine – but why take away our choices.  You are now presented with “edit lite” when you start any post and classic mode cannot be found anywhere.  OK the HE’s now told me how to get back to it and stay in it – see: “test on chrome” but why should I have to ASK them how to do it.

I left you two comments on your website Matt –



March 26, 2015 at 8:34 pm


Your comment is awaiting moderation.


hi Matt – sorry to barge in here, but it seems that its the only place to get to you – if you are not still involved in WordPress, apologies, but I think someone should tell you that they are making a mess of it at the moment and there are a lot of angry people around.

we don’t like edit lite

we don’t like being forced to use it

we don’t like the classic editor being hidden from us and only available by tricks

and I don’t like my posts being mangled!

if I have the right person – found your site on wikipedia – then please do something about it

and please reply to me, even if you prefer not to post his message





March 29, 2015 at 6:15 pm


Your comment is awaiting moderation.


I actually watched this video, all the way thro, waiting for something stunningly different from everything I’ve already heard – the comic approach was it.

It always amazes me that the US is so behind the rest of the world with the idea of conserving our assets. Even in a small place in Wales, the Council have put in place new measures to encourage recycling – see

you will also see that I didn’t agree with the sneaky way they replaced the bins, so I called them out on it. The follow up blog, can be reached thro the one above, and undortunately it suffered from some problems with the new editing system.

I left a message for you Matt about this – could you please answer this, or I may find I have to use the same tactics – smile



The first one has disappeared, but I did get an automatic email giving me access to that post only, the second one is still awaiting moderation at present.

I did think of sending you an email, but there is a note on the contact page that lists how many hundreds of emails you have in your pending file, so thats a “no brainer”

I also asked the HE, when I was asked to note every action I took when writing posts from now on,

(I don’t think I’ll bother with this one – its written using my default Safari Browser and I am making sure I am using the Classic Mode, as per instructions)

to pass on the comments below – think this might be a faster way to do it – or perhaps you won’t even see THESE MESSAGES!

dr-seuss_be-who-you-are “Whilst that may be ‘my fault’ I doubt if I’d be the only one not to think of using the toggle – and polls & forms are NOT included – what someone in wordpress hasn’t understood is the 1st rule of business


most of the bloggers have not done the 101 course and are hesitant about using the formats, and there is NOTHING that I saw that said – you may choose to write your post on this edit sheet, which gives you less options – or whatever gloss you want to give it – or you can choose these other sheets which will do this – but maybe are not as “easy” to use.

If you get presented with something, you take it at face value – I just assumed you’d stopped people using the classic one for some silly reason only known to your designers – and in the mood I was already in, it made me angry!

The instructions for choosing what format to use should be on each edit page, every time, so people can make their own choices, and for people who didn’t even know about the variations – which I didn’t at first.

I knew you were changing things round, as there IS a prompt to use the simpler version on the classic one, but there isn’t anything on the simpler version to allow you to switch to classic.

Its just a lack of thinking by your design team, but its caused me a load of trouble – and I have no intention of going back to that post and correcting all my assumptions – they were honest ones.

If you want to do it, that’s fine – you are welcome to comment as well as anyone else.

I would suggest that you also put a link on each of these pages, to full instructions on how to use them – then maybe I would have seen the ‘obvious’!

And why is there not an email notification to EVERY wordpress blogger to tell them of the changes you are making – why hide the fact that you are making changes – it only confuses people when something they are happy using, suddenly disappears.

I always say, if someone doesn’t answer a question – they have something to hide.

Neath Port Talbot didn’t answer me questions first time round – if they had, I would never have published that post – and it has embarrassed them -which they deserved, because they tried hiding stuff. I know I didn’t get all the answers, but I have suggested they set up a page on the website that gives that kind of information, so everyone can see it.

Its actually good PR if you admit to having some problems – smile!

thanks for taking up my suggestion that you contact people who have left comments on the blog about their problems – I have left new replies to everyone who commented to alert them to the update, and on the two that you told me you contacted, have acknowledged that you are being pro -active – so I’m not always critical! smile

nuff for now – If you keep this thread open, I will come back to you when I next blog to tell you what is going on – good or bad!


message to matt mullenweg: co-founder of wordpress

photo of Matt Mullenweg, taken in 2014 (found on his website)

photo of Matt Mullenweg, taken in 2014 , which I found on his website

For those of you who have never heard of Matt Mullenweg – and I hadn’t until I went looking for the Head of WordPress  – I found him on Wikipedia, and it says there that he co-founded WordPress not long after he ‘got out of college’.

“It was first released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg[1] and Mike Little

I was a bit confused about whether he was the best person to write to, but

 “WordPress is closely associated with Automattic, the company founded by Matt Mullenweg”

which, ‘by chance’ is also responsible for some of the names I have learnt since doing the blogging101 course, that we have been encouraged to use – like ……


Gravatar VIP


The reason I went looking for someone to talk to is because I seem to have been blighted by various problems with WordPress, which the “Happiness Engineers” say, seem to only have happened to me, but when I published are my/your comments stuck in spam?     and good news – it seems the glitch has been fixed and I can now leave comments again!   and

test on chrome: problems with formatting on wordpress  

I found that others were also having problems, but like me, when they first occurred thought it was me not understand how to use WordPress, and didn’t tell anyone about them.

Before I go any further, I must apologise for a huge ‘mistake’ I made when writing “test on chrome”, but it was an honest mistake, and I think, I can be forgiven for it, because by that time I was prepared to see the very worst in what I still insist on calling “edit lite”.

 The very helpful “HE” that answered the topic I put up on the support forum, did point out to me, some days after I had published it, that if I had only used the toggle button on the one row of editing tools shown, I would have found most of the usual elements!  IT WOULD HAVE SAVED ME A LOT OF TIME AND BOTHER WHEN I FORMATTED THAT POST!

wrongOh dear,  I seem to have found another glitch – all the above was written in the same setting as the paragraphs at the top of this post! After I had copied the title of one of the above posts, and try as I might, I can’t get out of this ridiculously large font!

Will continue this in another post – called

message to matt mullenweg: Part 2

Some Novelty Soaps for you, at sale prices!


 Scented Picture Soaps have been popular for a while

dancing dolphins- sea breeze

dancing dolphins- sea breeze

I used to sell them on ebay, but the postage made selling just one slice unecnomic, as in the UK, they cost £3.50 each to post.  Hand cut into individual slices, they are just slightly too thick to go as large letters, which would have cost about £1.50!

So I stopped selling them, and now have some stock left over, and I thought I’d try reducing the prices – they sold for £2.99 a slice – and offer them to anyone who happens on them here – smile!

 so, the deal is …..

Any order in the UK, will be posted for £3.50.  The small parcel rate is now the same for any parcel of a certain size weighing up to 2 Kg, so lets take advantage of it.

For International Sales: I will need to estimate the weight of your order and then give you the price of postage to whichever country you live in.  If the postage looks too expensive to you, then you are welcome to either change your order, or cancel it.

Each slice of soap will cost £1.65

– and you can choose as many or as few as you like – this price is for direct sales by Paypal only.

To order, please fill in the form on the Contact Me page –  and I will send you a Paypal invoice for your total order, including P&P to wherever you live.

Once you have paid – and you will be covered by the normal Paypal guarantees – I will post your order, and let you know by email that I have sent it, so you know when to expect it.

When listing the soaps you want, please list them by their image names which you can see by hovering over the image, and list the number you want of each, add any of the extras, (below the soaps) , and please make sure you give me your full name, your address and the email address you use for Paypal purchases.

You may cancel your order or amend it at any time, before payment.  However, if you cancel it after payment I will charge you £2.50 – deducted from the total – to cover my time, and Paypal fees.

If you want any further information, please send me a message via the Contact Me form.

first come – first served!

There is a limited stock of these, and obviously they may run out – I will let you know before creating an invoice, if anything you have ordered has run out!  Each soap is scented with the natural oils used by professional aromatherapists.






test on chrome: problems with formatting on wordpress


call for helpFor your information – the formatting HAS CHANGED since I first published this – you can see what the original looked like by scrolling down and stopping near the Harsh Reality logo!

this is a test to see what happens when I publish and then edit a page.  I have switched to chrome to see if it makes any difference.  The editing page that has opened is a basic one, without the facility for forms or polls, or other options which I may want to use. And again there is no way for me to change to the classic editing page that includes these facilities. The reason I am doing this is that for some strange reason, when I put a post up, that is carefully formatted to be readable, and then find I need to add something to it, as soon as I have updated it, when working in safari, it loses all the original formatting, and can end up being unreadable. The worst example of this is my post on the update to my post on the BIG BIN SWAP – which you will find here. This does not happen every time, but when it does, its almost impossible to get the original formatting back, and even when I add lines to space the text, they don’t get included in the finished published post. I have also had other problems with wordpress – for some weeks my comments on other people’s sites never appeared.


please click on this cartoon – it will take you to my other site – “the spare”, where the last post I put up was also mangled! The post is an invitation for anyone from anywhere to join my networking page “your spare” and ADD your links!

At first I assumed that people didn’t check their comments very often, or that they didn’t ‘approve’ my comments for some reason, tho’ they were just friendly comments about the points of interest in their blogs.  Then it turned out that a lot of my comments had gone into people’s spam folders, and I am still getting “likes” from comments I left weeks ago – when someone has obviously come across them in their spam folder. I have just added the cartoon on the left.  When I first added it, it distorted the text block, but it has settled down, now I have tried putting it in the centre of the text, on the right of the text, and now where I originally placed it, on the left of the text. i just added the link to the site that is badly mangled above, and suddenly noticed that there is no option to change the size of the text or its colour on this editing page!  WHY/HOW??   THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS!    I was assuming the slimmed down edit page was perhaps for FREE sites, but I have paid for an update on this site! I am trying to think of other ways I can test whether the formatting is going to stay put.  I think I will publish this now, and then come back to it later to see what happens. ***************** Back a few minutes later – only to say that this post is not malicious in intent. The “Happiness Engineer” – yes that’s really what they call the support staff – suggested that I tried switching browsers so I could test out this problem, and she could have a look at it. Image 11 - Version 2It is not something I wanted to publish today, especially when the last post is a really interesting one with loads of lovely colourful quilts on it – so do please scroll down and have a look at it. I daren’t try and edit it for any reason, because it took me hours to put it together! Same thing happened when I inserted this picture, it did not immediately go where I intended it to! ************** edited the cartoon above to add a link to the image so that when you click it, it will take you to another mangled post – but the content is worth reading! as I said the problem doesn’t always occur, and if it does, its not always immediate – so I will keep coming back to see how stable this post is – but whether its because I’ve changed browsers, I don’t know.  Maybe my HE will be able to tell me, cos I can tell you, she hasn’t made me a HAPPY BUNNY yet – tho she is trying very hard to be helpful! ***************** Sorry folks – go and look at the quilts – smile!





1375233632_Elvis-PresleyBut first – some light entertainment!  I fell asleep watching TV last night and woke up to this

A BBC4 rerun of a programme they made in August 2014 “Actor and musician Sam Palladio hosts a musical tribute to Elvis Presley, 60 years to the day from when he recorded his first single That’s All Right at Sun Studio in Memphis on 5 July 1954.”

I’m not a true Elvis fan, but the programme was fascinating, and I am a fan of our BBC, and if you click the link, you can watch this programme on their iPlayer – anywhere in the world!  FOR FREE

*******OK – back to the subject in question!

I left this post alone until this morning, and overnight I was convinced that this was a false test – because I am using Chrome for the first time – I had to download it specially for this exercise, and thanks for the prod – I like it! – and also, the default editing page that came up when I clicked the ‘pencil icon’ to write a new post is what I have now decided is “EDIT LITE”, AS IT HAS BEEN STRIPPED OF ALL BUT THE SIMPLEST ELEMENTS.

I was sure that any changes I made to it would not affect the formatting.


********The first thing I did this morning was amend the title of the post, because the original title : test on chrome, didn’t explain what it was about.  Then I also amended the caption on the Dr Seuss cartoon, cos I reckoned that as long as I was explaining the problems, I might as well see if any of you reading this would like to join my networking page on “my spare”.

When I woke up earlier, there were loads of comments awaiting moderation, and my stats have now passed 5,000 hits, so in adversity, there are some benefits – smile!

********I updated the post and – Da – Da – the original formatting has been lost and the text has been squashed up so that the spacing has gone and makes it far more difficult to read.

This won’t affect the bit that I am adding now, at least not until I go back to it once its published and do some more editing!

You can see the original spacing on Harsh Reality – because he was kind enough to re-blog my post yesterday – so thank you so much for that – it has been useful in adding readers to the post, but even more so in being able to show you all what the post looked like BEFORE!


This is the link to the re-blog :

You will note that the bit of the blog that shows on his site is the original formatting, but as soon as you click the link to see the ‘original’ – it takes you to this page, where the formatting has changed’

It would be useful if I could have put this bit in a different colour, to make it easier for you to see that it is a copy of the first bit of this post – but that’s ‘edit lite’ for you – the facility for that isn’t there!

as I can't add colour, I've used this to show you this is the copy of the original post formatting

as I can’t add colour, I’ve used this to show you this is the copy of the original post formatting

” this is a test to see what happens when I publish and then edit a page.  I have switched to chrome to see if it makes any difference.  The editing page that has opened is a basic one, without the facility for forms or polls, or other options which I may want to use.

And again there is no way for me to change to the classic editing page that includes these facilities.

The reason I am doing this is that for some strange reason, when I put a post up, that is carefully formatted to be readable, and then find I need to add something to it, as soon as I have updated it, when working in safari, it loses all the original formatting, and can end up being unreadable.

The worst example of this is my post on the update to my post on the BIG BIN SWAP

*************In the meantime – I have heard back from the “Happiness Engineers”, who initially thought I was making a fuss about nothing – and had more or less ‘palmed me off with platitudes’.  They did add some very helpful tips tho’ – which I am copying here for all of you who have the same problem.

*************”If you hover over your existing posts on the following page, then you’ll see a link to ‘Edit’ which will keep you in the classic editor: there was a link here to the admin part of my site – the page that shows you the list of your posts.

You can edit and make changes to any of your existing posts in the classic editor from there.

While on that page, you can click the ‘Add New’ link that appears next to the ‘Posts’ title. This will direct you to the following link for creating a new post in the classic editor: there was a link here to the post list and it is pointing out the Add New link at the top of that page.

I want to reassure you that the classic editor isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and you’ll be able to access it in WP Admin through the two links that I described above.

added just for fun!

added just for fun!

The pencil icon found in the black admin bar at the very top of the page as well as the in-page edit links on your site will direct to the new editor.

Our hope is to make the new editor so good that you won’t want to use the old one. 🙂 To do this, we really are listening to all feedback and appreciate the time you take to report back to us your experience with it.”

**************Well – lets take them at their word, when I have published this update, I will go back to them and tell them to have another look and this post – and to keep checking back to see the NEW COMMENTS that any readers of this feel like adding.

Comment-ImageBy the way, on both of my sites, ANYONE can leave a comment – you don’t have to be a wordpress user – you don’t have to fill in a form to be allowed to comment – you don’t have to worry that your comments won’t be accepted – because `i have chosen the option to moderate all comments, to make sure that spam comments don’t get thro’ – but unless your comment breaches the rules of normal courtesy – I will put it up on this site!  

I also don’t close the comments – so you can leave one any time –

look at the bit of admin at the bottom of this post, where you can click “like” or any of the other links to social media AND then click on the “x no COMMENTS” and it will take you to the comments section – scroll down to the bottom to find the box you can write in!  

ImageBy the way, I was going to underline this bit so it stood out – but there is no underline in ‘edit lite’ either!  I am very tempted to swear!

Now – please do me a favour and have a look at some of my posts about crafts – which is what julz crafts is supposed to be about!

In particular, please scroll down and have a look at the post I put up before this one

Where you can see Lori’s Favourite Quilt – which, by the way, is not the one shown here!

SHOW & TELL: Lori’s Favourite Quilt


Image 13 - Version 2

Lori is not a professional quilter – she says – “I have never sold or exhibited a quilt, but I have given quite a few away.”

This is Lori’s Favourite Quilt – Its not her “best one”, but its the one that means the most to her, and she has written a piece about it for the Show & Tell Archive.

Born in the USA, Lori has “a job that takes me all over the world, working with individuals, institutions and communities that are striving for the social and economic advancement of their communities.”  She is currently based in Macau – I had to look it up – it was originally a Portuguese colony, but is now part of China.

You can find out more about Lori’s travels,

and her quilts, on her blog – Quilt Musings


I began quilting about 20 years ago –

– after a burst appendix landed me in a hospital in Israel, followed by recuperation in the home of a friend whose wife was a quilter.

For many quilters, there is a tendency for your latest finished quilt to be your favorite, only to be replaced when you finish the next project.   Circles, Revisited is the one I have draped across the sofa, its not the newest, but I think it is going to hold its place as my favorite for a good while to come.
Image 11 - Version 2 It includes some of my favorite fabrics, has lots of free motion quilting, and demonstrates hat how no matter how inaccurate your tools and seam allowances, something beautiful can still be made from your efforts.  If I can make quilts anyone can!

I was never really domestically inclined growing up, and even now, my sewing is confined entirely to quilting. I caught the quilt bug when I was on a project in Israel and ended up with peritonitis.

After a couple weeks in hospital, I moved to a friend’s home, where in addition to receiving wonderful care and attention that aided my recovery, I was introduced to the beauty and variety of quilts and taught the basics of hand piecing and quilting.

Image 5  It didn’t take too long, however, before I had switched to a sewing machine. I loved how quickly a quilt could come together and enjoyed adding intricate machine quilting that would take years if done by hand.

At the time I started this quilt though, I wanted to keep one project that I could carry with me and work on when I was away from my sewing machine.

I had the idea of a quilt made of quarter circles of batiks, with the circles fading in and out of a scrappy background.  It never occurred to me to buy a professionally made-template to cut my fabrics — I just grabbed a plate from the cupboard, pulled a plastic folder from my stationary drawer and a handy quilter’s ruler, and used them to draw circle inside a square so that it approximated the quarter circle quilt blocks I had seen pictures of.

Image 15 I cut out the shapes using a pair of scissors, and voila, I  had my templates.  They were not the most accurate templates in the world…and in fact they degraded with use…but they were good enough.  I started cutting my fabrics, and soon I had a pile of patches in fabrics I loved and was very slowly piecing them together.  That’s about where life interfered.  The box was put on a shelf with my quilting fabrics, and quilting was largely forgotten.


Image 9 Fast forward to last year, when I decided to take up quilting once more.  As I was organizing my fabric stash, I came across the box and realized I still loved the fabrics and the design of the quilt.  Hand quilting no longer held any appeal for me, so I would need to put the blocks together by machine.

Circular blocks are not the easiest to put together at the best of times, and these blocks presented some massive challenges.  Because the templates were home made and not particularly accurate, the patches weren’t very accurate either.

Image 14 But the bigger problem was that you make templates for hand and machine quilting differently.  For machine quilting, you add the 1/4″ seam allowance to your template, and cut along that line.  You line up the edges of your patches and use a quarter inch seam while sewing.

For hand piecing, you make the template the size of the patches, draw around the patches and use that line to align your patches.

Your seam allowance doesn’t have to be accurate because you are sewing on the lines.  And mine were extremely inaccurate!

It took quite a lot of fiddling to get the blocks to come together, and some of them never did lie flat.  But once I got the quilt top together, I loved how the colors flowed from one block to another and across the quilt.  I used the circles to add a variety of free motion quilting motifs, adding another layer of design to the quilt (and hiding some of the block imperfections).  Despite the difficulties, or maybe because of them, it is now my favorite quilt, used to cuddle up with almost every evening since it was made.

Image 13 - Version 2 If you have ever considered quilting but were intimidated by the idea of all the pieces and the accuracy needed, I hope my quilt is an encouragement to give it a try.  I invite you to come take a look at my blog where I share the process I go through while making my quilts as well as the finished quilts.  Cheers!

I asked Lori for some more pictures of her other quilts, so here they are – if you click on any of them they will turn into a slide show.  Please remember they are HER COPYRIGHT – so ASK before you use them anywhere else!

This month, I branched out a bit and added some rather dramatic fabrics to my stock, some of which are great for quilting – please see “new in…”




The new bins cost; £475,916.20


the large bin versus the small bin

For a week or more, the text spacing on this post has been mangled, making the reading of it pretty difficult!

I have asked for help with this, because when it was published, it was fine!  The problem occurred when I went back to update it, and add the last email from Mr Roberts, of Neath Port Talbot CBC.

If you would like to see what the problem was/is you can read all about it HERE.

I am now attempting to ‘repair the site’, and hope it will read properly when I update it! (26 March)


This is a follow up to my post of 3 February,

about the recycling policy of my local council, which was prompted by “THE BIG BIN SWAP” when they came and swopped our large bins for small ones – with the stated aim of encouraging recycling.

It was also a measure put in place to try to avoid the fines Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (NPTCBC) is paying for using LANDFILL.

I posed a number of questions and thought you might like to know the answers.   Its taken a while, but I have now heard back from NPTCBC – to make sense of this email exchange – have a look at the original post by clicking HERE.



Sent: 24 February 2015 08:10

To: Chief Execs


Dear Sir

On 3 February I emailed both the media department and my local Councillor, to ask them to read the blog below, and reply with some answers to the questions I posed.

To date I have had no answer from either of them.

If you’d like to look at the comments section below the body of the text, you will see that there is great interest around the world about recycling, and many people are interested to know what Neath Port Talbot CBC are doing about it – specifically

  1. How much did the new bins cost?
  2. What did you do with the bins you removed?
  3. How have you funded this scheme?
  4. Is there another reason you have limited the size of the bins – ie:  can the new trucks take larger bins?
  5. How is the waste collected recycled?  Which companies do you use to do this and do you sell it or have to pay for its disposal?

I would be grateful if you could supply this information, which will be published in a follow up blog.

I truly do not want to have to put in a Freedom of Information request, as suggested by one reader. However, if I have not heard back from you within 10 days, I think this will be my next action. many thanks for your attention.



Dear Miss Barnett,

Firstly, apologies that no one has contacted you with an explanation with regard to the questions you posed. With reference to your e-mail of the 24/02/2015, I would inform you that;

  1. The new bins cost; £475,916.20
  2. Both the plastic body and steel axles of all the bins removed have been recycled via the Civic Amenity site in Briton Ferry.
  3. The bins were partly Welsh Government grant funded and partly Council funding from reserves.
  4. The reason for reducing the bins size is the statutory waste targets and associated fines and Welsh Government’s ‘Collections Blueprint’.  The aim is to encourage people who were not already recycling to do so and encourage those already recycling to participate further.
  5. All waste collected for recycling is taken to a purpose built transfer building at the rear of the Materials Recovery and Energy Centre at Crymlyn Burrows.  The operator of the facility, NPT Recycling Ltd., has contracts in place with reprocessors and the income is essentially netted off the cost of managing and treating the Council’s ‘black bag’ waste which is also taken to the plant.

I hope the above information is helpful.small bin Yours sincerely, Mike Roberts Head of Streetcare Environment Directorate


Before going ahead and publishing Mr Roberts reply, as a courtesy, I replied on 11 March –


 Dear Mr Roberts
 I am very relieved to receive this detailed reply from you regarding the list of questions in my email of 24 February.
You will of course have noted that I intended to publish your answer as a follow up to the original ‘blog post’ “The Big Bin Swap” dated 3 February.
Before I do, could you please confirm that you are happy for me to do so – and whether you wish your name to be published or just your title?
I was careful not to name which council I was talking about in the original blog, but in view of the details given, I think I should be able to verify that this is a genuine reply.
Re: Your Point No 4:  Is there any evidence that this strategy is working, or is it too soon to evaluate it?
Re: Your Point No 5:  Whilst the general information you gave is revealing, the real concern of everyone who recycles their waste is whether it is being    processed properly and put to good use.  Could you please provide a couple of specific examples of what is done with the various separated materials?
I am copying this email to my local councillor, with whom I spoke on Sunday, and I thank him for his help – and of course, yours.         Julie Barnett

I also re-sent the email on 18 March, asking for a reply and telling Mr Roberts that I would be publishing this today.  As I got no reply, I think that its time to publish!  I also think that you can all draw your own conclusions, and would welcome your comments below.  
Of course, it you would also like to contact Neath Port Talbot CBC, that is up to you – smile!


20 March 2015

I got a reply to the email above, late yesterday, most probably after someone had read this post.  As promised, I am publishing it here, and I have, of course, thanked Mr Roberts for his contribution and sent him a link to this post.

Dear Miss Barnett.

Thank you for your further correspondence.  With respect to your additional requests for information, I can advise as follows:

I enclose details of the immediate impact of reducing bin size in the pilot area undertaken in 2013.

Overall in the County Borough, as the smaller bins have been rolled out participation across the County Borough has similarly increased from 62% in 2013 to 71% in 2014 overall, and now stands at over 80%.

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Average
24% 38% 20% 37% 29.75% Baseline
40% 56% 32% 56% 46% Participation after excess bin removal and reduction to 140 litres(commencing 28th Oct 2013)

It is noted that tonnage data also suggested that many residents were using the capacity released in the larger wheeled bins through recycling to dispose of green garden waste.  With switching to smaller bins the Council’s recycling and composting figures continue to increase and we are hopeful of hitting the next statutory target in Wales of 58% a year early at the end of this current year.

With respect to examples of material destinations I can inform you of the following, as reported to the Council by Neath Port Talbot Recycling at the end of last year. 


Example 1:  After delivery to Crymlyn Burrows, plastics collected at the kerbside in Neath Port Talbot are bailed and transferred off-site to Carmarthenshire Environmental Resources.  From there they are sent to EcoPlastics in Lincolnshire.  EcoPlastics produce raw materials which may be used in the manufacture of plastic containers. 


Example 2:  After delivery to Crymlyn Burrows, food waste collected at the kerbside in Neath Port Talbot is bulked up and transferred off site to an Anaerobic Digestion Facility in Avonmouth, near Bristol.  The facility produces renewable energy and a nutrient rich fertiliser.



Mike Roberts

Head of Streetcare