Saturday, February 09, 2008

Green, Blue CRAP.............everywhere

It's now 3 weeks into the new rubbish collection regime and I have to say that despite the insanely positive spin put on it by the Council, it really isn't working very well. A lot of the problems are not the council's fault, they are down to that small minority of thoughtless, ignorant lazy people who so often cause problems for all of us. Having said that the implementation of the scheme has been done in a shoddy and fairly incompetent way for which the Council should take responsibility, which of course they won't.

The problems in my street started with the fact that their was no information as to when the first fortnightly black bag collection was to start (the information was available on the internet, but not everyone has access to that). This resulted in a load of black bags being put out on the wrong day and lying round in the street for a week, and being ripped open my foxes and the rest of us having to live with the mess for a week.

Another problem is that the Green Bin is far too big for what is being put into it, so unless you have a huge garden, it sits there outside your house like a big green monstrosity with never more than 2 inches of stuff at the bottom, why couldn't the Council supply more sensibly sized bins if they are going to change the waste system?

The problem that people now have is that where do they put the waste that cannot be re-cycled or composted, most of us will, find a way to make sensible arrangements, but the stupid, lazy and ignorant will dump it outside there houses in black bags or worse still fly tip it here there and everywhere. This is already happening.
I don't want to appear too negative though, so I thought I would give you the Sibonetic guide to making the new scheme work. I think I probably watched to much Blue Peter as a child, so here is one I made earlier!

The Kitchen

Place the caddy in a convenient location line with newspaper or a biodegradable bag (obtainable from the council or local stores such as Wilkinson's) and put your food waste in it. Though why we had to have council corporate Green, what about a choice of colours, it really doesn't match the colour scheme in my Kitchen!!

For other kitchen waste have 2 bins one for recycling and the other for anything else! Then all you kitchen waste is pre-sorted ready to go in the right place.

The Living room

Have two bins one for recycling and a little one for the odd bits you can't recycle. This can then also go straight in the correct place when full. The model of the Chocolate Labrador shown in the picture is an optional extra.


Buy a small black plastic dustbin, this one came from Wilkinsons and cost £8, line it with a Dustbin liner, put your non-recyclables in there and put the bag out on the right day for collection.

Recycling, it's not rocket science!

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At 1:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 7:12 pm, Anonymous PlanetPlumstead said...

Totally agree, especially about the size and colour of the recycling bins. The black non-recycling bags are going to continue to be a problem I feel. I'm thankful that my household doesn't have to worry about nappies etc and the confusion about which weeks are collectable weeks. Another thing that GBC have overlooked is the inaccessibility of the local recycling centre and the fact that 28% of Londoners don't drive and therefore don't have the ability to get their rubbish down to the tip, particularly the bulky stuff. The only stuff the will collect is furniture. This leaves a lot of unclassified bulkier stuff that we will find dumped in the streets, or worse our green spaces (e.g. toilets). I think we could do with a regular, say monthly, collection of this sort of thing - a bit like the old rag and bone man used to do.

At 12:19 pm, Anonymous The ReV' said...

It's mad!
YES there should be recycling but its tatally not the way to do it! Most people will just not bother, it needs to be easyer for the man-in-the-street. I don't want 4+ bins IN my house. I've nearly always recycled paper/plastic and tins but usually I'm full up by mid-way between collections. I now tend to use the council bins a 2 second walk down the road by my local shops if my bins full!

At 12:46 pm, Blogger Charlton Average said...

It's good to see someone else who agrees with my opinions that the new scheme is in theory a good idea, but it's suffering from a poor implementation and selfish/stupid people.

On my road we did get leaflets clearly explaining when the black sacks would be collected. However people still put sacks out on the wrong day.

Planetplumstead has a great idea about there being some kind of collection once in a while for things that can be recycled but you can't put in the blue bins. For example bulky items or clothing.

The Rev, I think that the current scheme really is pretty easy. I keep two bins, one for green waste and one for the "black sack" stuff. I pop my recycling into carrier bags and take it out to the blue bin pretty regularly, often once a day as I recycle a fair bit these days.

At 3:01 am, Blogger Dimps said...

I really can't see the problem.

I use a carrier bag for recyclable waste. This bag goes into the blue bin at least daily. It currently hangs on the handle of the back door - which isn't very pleasing aesthetically I must admit. My mother has a rather more attractive boxy-shaped shopping bag hanging from a hook under the work surface, into which she places a recyclable carrier bag and which can then be transported to the blue bin.

There is a bin for waxed cartons (juice, milk, etc) opposite the Co-op.

I find the caddy rather more handy than previous arrangements. Fruit and veg. can be peeled straight into it; crumbs brushed into it; plates scraped directly into it; "over-ripe" produce in the fridge go into it when the new shopping arrives. This has an added advantage - wasted (in the form on of unused food) is now more obvious and taken into account when shopping.

I do think that the option of a smaller green bin should be available - mine is almost empty most weeks and many people in terraced houses have such titcy front gardens that there is only enougn room for one-and-a-half bins. Having said that, garden prunings take up an awful lot of room. Home composting needs to be encouraged more (although I do realise this is not an option for everyone).

The bin under the sink now has ample room for waste that cannot be recycled. I anticipate that I will sometimes have to put this out fortnightly (taking into account such things as santitary towels), and other times perhaps monthly. During the first fortnight, for instance, I only managed to accrue: one polystyrene cup (take-away sweet and sour sauce - the lid was recycled); some used tissues; two pairs of laddered 'pop socks'. What on earth are people putting in their black sacks that would attract foxes? Are these pet owners - perhaps some more thought/discussion with the Council is needed here?

My children have been 'trained' to put only paper waste in the living room bin (it doesn't take much effort to take fruit stones, etc. to the kitchen). Similarly, bathroom and bedroom bins would contain reclyclables (other than those aforementioned and, ahem, some other items which I don't think most people would leave lying about anyway!)

I have noticed green bins around the neighbourhood that have not been emptied. These are overflowing with mixed waste. I think that in every case, they have been outside "shared" accomodation (ie. those that cannot be bothered to separate their rubbish can always blame their fellow residents). Is it possible that some residents are unable to read any of the languages in which the instructions were written?

I found the card containing the black bag dates in the same pack that explained everything else - but I very nearly missed it. In fact, I had to scoop it back out of the recycling bin! Could this explain the confusion?

I have never had a problem with the Council picking up bulky household waste - albeit with a few weeks' wait. However, I see from their website that there are now some restrictions. Some of these are because they are now included in regular refuse collection (such as garden waste).

I have found "Freecycle" to be invaluable, both personally and for voluntary/educational organisations I am involved with:

I have found homes for clothes now too small for my children. On the other hand I have received umpteen pairs of wellies for a local "forest school" and a scanner for the school where I work. You will be amazed by what people want to give away, and what other people want!

Receipt of junk mail can be reduced (although not eradicated) by registering with (for addressed mailings)and emailing (for unaddressed mailings).

I have noticed that the number of people decorating their wheelie bins has been increasing recently. Perhaps this can extend to people customising their kitchen caddies.


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