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24 August, 2007

Worst of both worlds

Earlier in the month, I mentioned that my area of Lancaster is about to receive wheelie bins and recycling boxes; two of the former (for non-recyclable domestic waste and garden refuse respectively) and three of the latter (two for glass, paper, card and cans, one for plastic bottles).

As the comments on that earlier entry show, S. and I immediately spotted the problem of using wheeled bins on particularly steep hills, but there were also issues of storing all those containers in tiny yards and the imposition of full-size garden waste bins on those who have no gardens.

Following complaints, it seems the Council has changed its corporate mind. We're not going to receive wheelie bins automatically, after all. Instead, we'll continue to receive 'traditional' bin bags, plus the recycling boxes. However, one aspect of the wheelie bin scheme will remain: fortnightly collection.

I really don't see this as workable. One of the main reasons the Council didn't introduce fortnightly collection a while ago was that wheelie bins were unavailable, and it wasn't viable for people to store thin-walled bags of stinking food waste for up to a fortnight. The Council must have eliminated every cat and rat in the city, as that previously defining problem is suddenly considered trivial.

It could be argued that since wheelie bins are still available on request (it's just that they're no longer to be compulsory), those with concerns can have them.
Yet that'd be disingenuous. It's not me that needs the bin.

It'd probably take me a month to fill a full-sized wheelie bin, so I could just about manage without one, filling my indoor kitchen bin then putting out one bag each fortnight.
In contrast, my next-door neighbours fill three bags each week, and store them outside. By mid-week, the first bag is already in their yard and the local cats have moved in. One of the best aspects of the Council's original plan was that my neighbours would have been obliged to render their waste inaccessible to animals (and to reduce the absolute amount of it). Now it's going to be even worse. My yard will to be the place for cats to dine and defecate.
[And no, I don't feel able to persuade my neighbours to change – that's for the Council.]

[Update 06/11/07: There was a fortnightly collection yesterday morning; yesterday evening, my neighbour put out the first full bag of the next fortnight.]

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