For a number of years, St Ives and its neighbouring areas and towns have been at the forefront of a green revolution in the UK, highlighted by the myriad of ‘Plastic Free’ campaigns that have been set up on behalf of Surfers Against Sewage and their push for plastic-free communities. Surfers Against Sewage were one of seven charities chosen by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to receive donations in lieu of wedding presents, lending even further credibility to their cause of protecting and preserving beaches and coastlines that can easily become polluted. The aim of the plastic-free communities is to curb the use of single-use plastics in the hope that alternative, more environmentally conscious products can become available.
St Ives’ beauty and aesthetics are a significant marketing vehicle for the town’s businesses, with many flocking to the area year-round to take in the surroundings to peruse the shops and drink and dine at the numerous restaurants and bars dotted around. St Ives’ unique selling point, however, is wholly reliant on the upkeep of the town itself, with an impetus on proper waste management and recycling methods.
It is estimated that St Ives’ population quadruples in the summer with tourists, visitors, and second-home owners flocking to the area to lap up the sea and the sun. The past year has been different, however. Due to the pandemic and the subsequent travel restrictions that have been put into place, more and more people are staying in the UK for their holidays and St Ives is often at the top of many prospective visitors’ lists. Such an influx is hugely beneficial for business, but an increase in waste is often an unwanted trade-off.
Despite growing efforts from both locals and tourists, waste disposal and recycling in St Ives can still be an issue at the busier times of the year. Without a recycling facility in the town, it can often prompt people to use bins that aren’t allocated for the waste they want to dispose of, and this can create problems for businesses that have little to no space to dispose of their waste.
People staying in holiday homes can also encounter problems if they miss the fortnightly bin collections or if they are staying on a date that doesn’t fall on a bin collection day. In the past Cornwall council has had to curb the use of the town’s bins for significant waste disposal, going as far as labeling ‘no holiday home waste’ and ‘no black bags’ along the harbour. It is therefore of increased importance that people know where they can dispose of their waste and recycling, and, if that isn’t possible, to know of the other options available to them.
If you are staying in a holiday let, it is highly likely that you will have access to the property’s waste bins and the fortnightly collections. It is worth asking the owners when the collection days are if they don’t pass that information onto you initially. Alternatively, you can find the local collection days at https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/my-area/.
County-wide, Cornwall’s bin collection also involves a curb side pickup of household recycling bags. Separating the recycling into these bags means that there is a low cross-contamination of recycling and is by far the easiest way to dispose of plastics, cans, and glass. If you feel that there is not a sufficient number of recycling containers at your property, you can request more at https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/recycling-rubbish-and-waste/recycling-collections.
If for whatever reason you aren’t able to access the property’s bins or you miss the collection days, the closest recycling centre to St Ives is located in St Erth on Treloweth Lane, located just behind the train station. There are no fees involved in the disposal of household waste and recycling, and they are open from 09:00am to 16:00pm.