So recycling rates have reduced in Hertfordshire to a derisory 50 per cent. (Recycling rates drop, Observer, March 8) A mere half of all waste recycled.

And even then, there is a question of semantics surrounding the true nature of the terminology used:

To most, the term ‘recycling’ might be taken to mean the collection, segregation and then the re- processing of waste materials back into raw materials.

If so, think again.

The truth of the matter, as borne out by the rubric, is that we don’t recycle: we dump our bulk waste on the world’s poorest countries such as Indonesia and Taiwan, and make them pay for it.

Indonesia has our plastic; Taiwan has our metal cans.

It was reported in the news how China had put a block on the vast mountains of our waste turning away tanker loads of it.

Is it any wonder the West is known as the ‘useless eaters’?

The article revealed what many had suspected already: the UK recycles very little and merely dumps its debris elsewhere in the world.

To suggest that we ‘recycle’ 50 per cent is risible and a cynical play on words: in the loosest sense of the word maybe; but in the fullest sense, the reality is somewhat different.

It’s high time that a developed country such as ours had the technology to do its recycling at home and re-process waste materials back into useful product.

Dave Degen

Whippendell Road, Watford