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Bin Laden

My local council has implemented a new rubbish collection policy (and apparently, an exciting new range of CONTAMINATED! stickers for anybody who accidentally leaves a can in a bin, or the wrong kind of plastic in the recycle box). The main part of the policy: from now on, if your bin lid isn’t completely closed they won’t empty your bin.

Then what?

Seriously, I don’t get it. If they don’t take your bin, you’ll have even more rubbish the following week. What are you supposed to do, other than maybe take your rubbish to the local council offices and leave it in reception? Set it on fire? Throw it at a tramp?

8 replies on “Bin Laden”

Because you have to take your bin out to the street for them, if it is overfull, how do they prove the excess rubbish is yours? Anyone could have put it there — and people do use others’ bins, especially now there’s the incentive of a criminal record for overfilling your own.

Also note that, though they insist on wheelie bins because it’s too dangerous for them to lift up bins with their actual arms, it is apparently not too dangerous for them to travel the streets by hanging on to the back of a moving lorry with one hand.

I had a thought recently (I know, I know). Remember when we were kids, people used to give the binmen a Christmas tip? I wonder when that last happened.

Private Eye ran the numbers: proposed fine for having a slightly full wheelie bin? £120. Fine for flytipping, irrespective of what and where? £75.

It’s all too easy to turn into a Daily Mail commenter on this, but really. It’s the sort of petty authoritarian bullshit that makes life that little bit more annoying for no good reason.

> I wonder when that last happened.

I think a giant boxing glove on a really strong spring would be more appropriate.

My mother-in-law’s household had an “interesting” experience with the bins. There are three adults and two children living there, and, as you know, kids don’t half generate rubbish. But the council don’t count kids when deciding how much waste you are allowed to create, so the house is only allowed one bin. My mother-in-law asked if they could have another bin. No. She offered to buy her own and asked if the council would empty it. No. She then asked, OK, if it’s not included in my council tax bill, what’s the extra charge for emptying a second bin? But still no. The issue isn’t cost; it’s how much stuff they are willing to allow you to throw away.

See, it’s the success of the fucking environmentalist lobby: the council no longer see their job as collecting your rubbish, but as controlling what rubbish you generate. It’s for the planet!

Only it’s not for the planet really, because now my sister-in-law drives to the dump with excess rubbish every week or two. So the council are still doing the drive with their lorry, and she’s now doing the drive as well with a car. In order to cut down on waste and pollution.

Some of the councils are making the bins smaller since people complained about the fortnightly collections.

Yet another reason not to let the state run essential services. If the private sector was allowed to do rubbish collection, the greenies could feel all superior (and a bit richer) by having hardly any rubbish, and the rest of us could get however much rubbish we wanted taken away, simply by paying for it. Remarkable concept I know.

They recently introduce a Recycle Wheelie Bin in my area. It’s so sodding complex, we’ve got a calendar on our front door to figure out which to put out when.. if you mess it up – it’s a right hassle.

Collection Day: Tuesday.

Week One: Normal Waste WB.
Week Two: Recycle WB.
Week Three: Normal Waste WB.
Week Four: Recycle WB AND Glass Recycle Box.

Oh wait.. since introducing the recycle bin, and therefore fortnightly collections of domestic waste… the normal waste bins have got heavier. (Really?!) so we’ll collect your normal bin on a Thursday instead. But you’ve to make sure the lid is closed.

Just to confuse the fu– hell out of you.

I still can’t believe we’re in a situation where bin-men get to be fussy about what they pick up!

> It’s so sodding complex

Yeah, it’s just as confusing here. The recycling thing here would make Steven Hawking give up in confusion. The boxes are labelled to tell you what you can and can’t put out, but that’s not what you actually can and can’t put out, because that’s changed, and it might have changed again since the last time they changed it. Who knows?

One of the proposed offences that really gets on my tits is the suggestion that people should be fined for putting their bins out the night before collection day. WTF? You’re supposed to get up at 6am purely to put your bins out?

I understand the reasons behind it – although it’s greenwash, because the councils’ motivation is financial, not environmental – but as ever, they’re targeting a symptom rather than the problem. The amount of unnecessary packaging is ridiculous, it’s a massive waste of resources, but there’s not much the average householder can do to reduce it. Whether it’s a single DVD coming in a box the size of a house (hello, Amazon!), the best-priced fruit and veg coming in acres of packaging, a little SD card coming in a square foot of super indestructo-plastic (of a kind the council won’t recycle) or a small toy being wrapped in three tons of reinforced cardboard (which, again, the council won’t recycle unless you put it in a car and pump out a few thousand grammes of CO2 as you drive to the designated collection point that’s nowhere near you), the real problem is at the suppliers’ end.

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