05 July 2007

I've found a major flaw in our current waste management policy down here in Bristol. We switched to a fortnightly refuse collection with weekly recycling collections a year or so ago. All sound in principle.

The detail, as always, escapes those that propose these things.

One, students - of which there are 5 houses full of in the road - generate a VAST amount of waste which they either stick in everyone else's bins or leave in bags on the street.

As a consequence we suddenly haven't in the slightest found a huge rat, fox and fly problem since. (As an aside, I met our resident fox the other night at 2am as he was making heavy and noisy work of eating a chinese takeaway container. Full credit though, a whispered 'Oi!' from my top flat window and a wagging finger made him run off. That doesn't work with cats and dogs I can tell you.)

Two, half the houses in the street have no front garden and therefore nowhere to store their wheelie bins. Current policy is to encourage storing them in your back garden (but over half of those are flats without any garden) or to store your bin in your hallway. What? Keep your rubbish in your flat for two weeks in summer? Nice :-S

Three, the council have now decided that no bins can be kept on the street otherwise they'll be removed. This, of course, won't make those without a bin use everyone else's or leave bin bags on the street (see two). Oh no, they'll just magically generate no rubbish whatsoever. Yes, of course they will.

Four, the council's stated aim is to rapidly (in the next year or so) charge households by the amount of waste they produce. They do this by implanting a chip in your wheelie bin that weighs the waste and is recorded each fortnight on collection. I have a big bin (because, uniquely on the street I have a space for one in the entrance to my stairwell to my flat) and girl 1 and I make 2 bin bags of rubbish a fortnight. We recycle loads. However my bin is always crammed full after maybe 4 days from collection. So I pay for all those who no longer have bins. What an AMAZING idea. :-S

Five, the 'green' kitchen waste plan has been abandoned as they failed to provide a truck that could fit down our street (it's narrow). So instead they walked down the street with a big wheelie bin emptying the kitchen waste into it by turn. However, by never closing the LOCKABLE and SEALABLE bins afterwards the road stank like a sewer all day. So everyone stopped using the bins. There's recycling and making you want to retch within 50 yards of your house once a week.

Six, recycling is friday morning about 7am. Cool. All up for that. So I've put my black box full of beer cans (well, kinda full. Sort of lots of cans of beer *blush*), newspapers and cardboard out tonight. But it's so windy that 90% are now in the next street along. Still, at least the street sweepers next week can find them all and forward them to recycling *rolls eyes*

Great Idea, Fucked Up Yet Again - it's my council's motto :)


At 6 July 2007 at 11:46, Blogger weenie said...

We're still on weekly collections here for now - so what happens when we have a scorching summer and the bins are full...? Ewwww!

Good luck with the coaching and all that, let me know the name of your team (when you get one) so I can follow its progress! :-)


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