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What do you think of it so far...?

Eddie Mair | 17:05 UK time, Thursday, 24 May 2007

If you have a comment on rubbish and recycling...this is the place.

And look: Jonnie sends this: "These are photos of our new smaller wheelie bin. The chip is the circular object with holes around it, embedded in the plastic under the rim. To be eco-friendly the Duracell's have been removed from the Rupert, and he is now powered by a permanent orange extension lead. "

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Comments

  1. At 05:08 PM on 24 May 2007, Michael Knight wrote:

    Where are we supposed to put all these bins for recycling? I live in a small terraced house with a very small front garden which is already dominated by the large rubbish bin supplied by the council, if I was to store rubbish in my back garden I would have to bring the bins through my house. Am I going to be penalised because of this?

  2. At 05:08 PM on 24 May 2007, Kim Matthews wrote:

    We live in Poole, I rang up the council to get a big blue (recycling bin) to be told we can only have a big one if we changed our rubbish bin to a small one!!!! Poole Borough Council have also got rid of all the car park re cycling bins so we have to take our excess recycling to near by Bournemouth.

  3. At 05:10 PM on 24 May 2007, sheryl henson wrote:

    I would love to recycle more but half the rubbish marked as recyclable is excluded from my local authoriy's list (Redbridge). I have asked why this is so, and they say they are unable to deal with it.

    On a similar vein, the rubbish strewn along roads and local streets in the locality is absolutely disgusting. The main culprit in this instance is Waltham Forest.

  4. At 05:10 PM on 24 May 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Rubbish.

  5. At 05:10 PM on 24 May 2007, Sue Gerrard wrote:

    I've been recycling for over half a century: do I get a back-dated financial incentive from my local authority?

  6. At 05:12 PM on 24 May 2007, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    On account of having to haul all our refuse to the nearest road, some distance away, we do recycle all that is possible, compost, tin, glass, paper and cardboard - even if some of them require a car journey. So what goes in our bags ? The triple over wrapping of anything bought from a supermarket.... I really will stand in the queue and unwrap it all after I've paid for it, if you think that will help

  7. At 05:14 PM on 24 May 2007, j.lex wrote:

    How come that every time the Government bring in legislation to acheive something in the public interest, it COSTS US a fortune!

    In order to make motoring more green they put up the price of Road Tax for 4 wheel drives. Now we find that they are going to make it legal for Councils to CHARGE US EXTRA if we need to get rid of more rubish!

    Maybe we should ALL take our rubish and drop it at the door of number ten, and make the Prime Minister pay to get rid of it. After all, WE HAVE ALREADY PAID IN OUR VERY EXPENSIVE COUNCIL TAX!

  8. At 05:15 PM on 24 May 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Eddie: Haha!

    Do give us good warning of when you'll be knocking on Mr. Miliband's door, won't you? Perhaps he'll offer us all tea and biscuits ......

  9. At 05:16 PM on 24 May 2007, Otto's Mummy wrote:

    I phoned Ashford Borough Council a couple of years ago to ask why we had no kerbside recycling and was told by a very grumpy employee that the council "couldn't afford it". When I cheekily asked if they distributed black bags instead I was informed that they couldn't afford those either......

    So, I have actually just returned from a round trip to the paper recycling and have to save my plastics to give to my sister whose council does recycle. Thank goodness we have a tiny utility room - it's more like a recycling room.

  10. At 05:16 PM on 24 May 2007, Sue Gerrard wrote:

    J'accuse... Tony Blair of being a 'T thief'. Have you noticed how many cabinet ministers drop their 'Ts' since TB started doing so? He does it most when he's least sure of himself - and so do they. Noticed it this evening with D Milliband. Funny that.

  11. At 05:16 PM on 24 May 2007, Gillian wrote:

    ''An unprecedented level of complaints'' warrants an unprecedented sanction..... dump the programme!!!!!!!!

  12. At 05:16 PM on 24 May 2007, steven dryden wrote:

    Hello,
    I am a single male, I am 43 years old. I have no children. I have a family of four as neighbours, two youngsters and mum and dad. We have wheely bins in our area, we also have blue tubs and red tubs which I reckon must be for recycling materials. I have noticed that I put my wheelie bin out once for every six that my neighbours put out, they also appear to put out these "tubs". I do not use the tubs because it means that bin lorries come to collect an extra two times, how can that be a good idea. I think it is time that people that have children are made to pay the true cost of having children as children cause global warming. Just a thought. Thanks.
    Steven Dryden. Edinburgh.

  13. At 05:18 PM on 24 May 2007, Peter Lambert wrote:

    I pay my local council - Haywards Heath - an extra £35.00 per year to recycle my garden waste. They failed to collect it on tuesday and again today. If councils are able to issue fines for people who don't recycle then surely we should be intitled to refunds if the council fails to collect on the advertised day.

  14. At 05:18 PM on 24 May 2007, Beth McIntosh wrote:

    Here in West Wilts we have a black bin for everyday rubbish and a green bin purely for garden waste. They are collected on alternate weeks. What is to happen in the winter time when there is no garden rubbish to uplift.?bWill we get a rebate? I'll bet we dont

  15. At 05:18 PM on 24 May 2007, Beth McIntosh wrote:

    Here in West Wilts we have a black bin for everyday rubbish and a green bin purely for garden waste. They are collected on alternate weeks. What is to happen in the winter time when there is no garden rubbish to uplift.?bWill we get a rebate? I'll bet we dont

  16. At 05:19 PM on 24 May 2007, Hilary Howe wrote:

    A health food shop in Sidmouth will refill customers' empty plastic bottles with laundry liquid, washing up liquid and general purpose cleaner made by a certain well known brand of environmentally friendly cleaning products available in most supermarkets, thus reducing the packaging required to nil. Why can't more retailers offer this service?

  17. At 05:19 PM on 24 May 2007, Paul Aldersley wrote:

    I listened with a wry smile to the fact that we are to be encouraged to recycle. Someone needs to tell my local authority (Plymouth)

    We have green bags collected once a fortnight. With 6 of us in our household we fill them pretty quickly.

    Today, collection day, ours was not taken I am told becuase it is a "boundary service" - our bags were 3 feet from the pavement hence not on the boundary!!

    Maybe from now on I won't bother!!

  18. At 05:20 PM on 24 May 2007, Robert Hill wrote:

    Will broadcasters be fined for showing makeover programmes that encourage people to unnecessarily rebuild and redecorate houses that are perfectly serviceable already? Will the government fine itself for continuing to regard economic growth as inherently desirable regardless of need?

  19. At 05:20 PM on 24 May 2007, michael wildsmith wrote:

    Re: rewarding people for sorting their rubbish for recycling?

    A neighbour of mine in Hackney was given a £20 M&S voucher by a council worker for sorting his rubbish for recycling. He is highly educated, works for BBC in production and doesn't need an incentive to do what he clearly does very well i.e. sorting his rubbish. Perhaps the people who work for council recycling depts. need to be educated as to what an incentive is and how reward systems work effectively, before too much money is thrown away.

  20. At 05:21 PM on 24 May 2007, David Bartholomew wrote:

    We have a small business. The vast majority of our rubbish is either paper or cardboard. We have not been offered any atlernative to the general rubbish collection from the Council. I would gladly recycle rubbish if it is made easy for me. I cannot make the time to run it down to the tip, where I would be turned away if they knew that it was business rubbish - I am running a business. Make it easy for business, and I am sure that business will respond. We already have to pay seperately to have our rubbish taken away. I would be much happier to pay to have the rubbish recycled, and would not mind even paying a surcharge for a recycling facility.

  21. At 05:21 PM on 24 May 2007, Ashley Inglis wrote:

    In recent months I cleared my garage. I divided 'rubbish' into textiles, metals, woods etc,. in expectation of having them dealt with appropriately at the local tip. Arriving with the stuff in a van I had hired for the occasion I was directed to a single skip marked 'general waste' . In it all went, my carefully sorted items, straight into land-fill. I was told my mobile phone could safely be disposed of at Tescos, but not here. Will the local council be fined for failing to provide facilities for conscientious citizens?

  22. At 05:22 PM on 24 May 2007, Maurice J Wickstead wrote:

    What a pity that New Labour didn't set out their 'Rubbish' policies in 1997. That would have given us all a greater incentive to vote them out of office long ago.

    Responding to the looming energy crisis; isn't it time that we the old Monster Raving Looney proposal that all the hot air emanting from the House of Commons should be piped around the country to provide free heating.

    Great programme, tks to Eddie and the team - keep it coming.

  23. At 05:22 PM on 24 May 2007, B Stanier wrote:

    Greetings

    Yes we have to recycle more... OK all those landfill sites acorss the UK may have a clay membrane but what happens to all the leachate.. It could and probably does get into subterranean watercorses...
    At some time in the future the sites might well have to be excavated and the remains burnt to fuel power stations. Who is going to fund that? Should we be thinking of that now not later....

  24. At 05:22 PM on 24 May 2007, richard griffith wrote:

    today I printed up this label to add to all my...

    By sending junk mail, flyers, pamphlets, catalogues, supplements, and or unsolicited mail of any type to this address THE SENDER ACCEPTS FULL LIABILITY for any and all costs associated with any penalties in relation any rubbish collection penalties and / or recycling penalties imposed by any rubbish policing programme.

    RETURN TO SENDER
    delete from your records

  25. At 05:24 PM on 24 May 2007, alison bowry wrote:

    I'm all for recycling and reducing rubbish, but is the scheme to reward or fine practical?
    On our road, our wheelie bins are kept outside of our (small) gardens, on a rough track. Anyone can pop rubbish in my bin. We then wheel them out onto a nearby road the evening before the 6am collection - at which point again, anyone can add a few extra bags to my bin - and I notice they sometimes do.

    I suppose someone could equally steal our recyling stuff from the green bins, as they wait for the recycling van, and add it to their own, if they were really keen!
    Surely its impossible to monitor if the rubbish in a bin comes from a particular address unless the bin is locked inside, and we all wait for the bin men/womento remove it!

  26. At 05:24 PM on 24 May 2007, B Stanier wrote:

    Greetings

    Yes we have to recycle more... OK all those landfill sites acorss the UK may have a clay membrane but what happens to all the leachate.. It could and probably does get into subterranean watercorses...
    At some time in the future the sites might well have to be excavated and the remains burnt to fuel power stations. Who is going to fund that? Should we be thinking of that now not later....

  27. At 05:24 PM on 24 May 2007, michael wildsmith wrote:

    Re: rewarding people for sorting their rubbish for recycling?

    A neighbour of mine in Hackney was given a £20 M&S voucher by a council worker for sorting his rubbish for recycling. He is highly educated, works for BBC in production and doesn't need an incentive to do what he clearly does very well i.e. sorting his rubbish. Perhaps the people who work for council recycling depts. need to be educated as to what an incentive is and how reward systems work effectively, before too much money is thrown away.

  28. At 05:24 PM on 24 May 2007, Fifi wrote:

    In East Northants we already have a red box (fortnightly paper), blue box (4-weekly glass), green box (fortnightly cardboard, plastic, cans, textiles) ... and we buy our own plastic bags for what's left.

    We compost as much as we can, so what with all the recycling we struggle to half-fill a bin-bag per week.

    However even though we'd probably be winners under an incentive scheme (not that it'd prove to be anything other than another stealth tax in practice) I object to having our boxes chipped so the Council can spy on us.

    Perhaps in retaliation I should put a chip in the dog bins our Parish Council paid for, which aren't emptied, and charge East Northants Council accordingly?

    Apparently our blue box is already chipped. I predict an accidental de-chipping in its immediate future!

    If local authorities would allow small and local businesses to participate in kerbside recycling schemes, instead of charging them commercial rates for taking it away to landfill, recycling rates would soar.

    But then, that's not really the point of all this, is it? When there's money to be made.....

    Fifi

  29. At 05:26 PM on 24 May 2007, L Gibbins wrote:

    Local Councils are annually rate capped and are now permanently trying to find ways to increase their finances by backdoor methods. Be it by congestion charging, parking, litter police issuing fines to children who drop crisps on the pavement, from July 'smoking police' and apparently now by the volume or weight of how much waste a household produces. What we will end up with is more and more fly tipping. Indeed if one were to fly tip all of ones waste (without being caught) one would presumably get the greatest rewards.

  30. At 05:26 PM on 24 May 2007, Tony Vest wrote:

    What a wonderful opening statement in this evenings PM. “ The Government announces it’s rubbish Policies “.

    A truly accurate comment on ten years of Tony and Gordon’s new labour.

  31. At 05:28 PM on 24 May 2007, David Goodwin wrote:

    There are two things I do not understand about this whole debate:
    1) When people say fortnightly collections do they mean one week a collection of recyclable stuff and the next week a collection of non recyclable stuff, or do they mean just one collection every other week?
    2) If it is the latter then how does recycling reduce the amount of rubbish to make this possible? Deviding it into different piles does not reduce the volume, it probably increases it.

    Like lots of stories the basics are not explained well enough, just the arguements.

  32. At 05:29 PM on 24 May 2007, Mike Romans wrote:

    We recycle all newspaper and magazines, junk mail, cardboard, plastic (hard or marked recyclable), glass and tins and when we move house we shall also have ample space to compost anything which is compostable.

    But already - with 4 adults in the house - we rarely more than half fill our wheelie bin and frequently it is much emptier than that.

    Difficulties in doing all this - none; anything which the council doesn't collect, such as cardboard, goes to the recycling site adjacent to the supermarket which I visit to buy petrol.

    Oh, and we've been doing this sort of thing for years - we started recycling newspaper over 25 years ago and glass, tins, and plastics were easily dealt with once recycling sites appeared although they are now collected every other week by the council. And once you get into the habit of 'sorting' your rubbish as it arises it just becomes a matter of habit - easy.

  33. At 05:29 PM on 24 May 2007, Mel mawdsley wrote:

    The govt abdicated responsibility by devolving recycling planning and implementation to such a degree. Otherwise, LAs could all be collecting the full range of recyclables in the same containers. The confusion and frustration caused by the current piecemeal system has seriously eroded public goodwill.
    Recyclers are all aware of overpackaging. The types of plastic used for packaging should limited, and all recyclable.
    Recycling is downcycling! People are expecting reduction of packaging NOW....or else!

  34. At 05:30 PM on 24 May 2007, angela Thomas wrote:

    It is outrageous that people will not assume responsibility for themselves. You make a mess, you clear it up. You make a lot of rubbish, you are responsible. Are people so lazy, so stupid or so selfish that they cannot separate their waste into four simple sections? They should be responsible not only for themselves but towards those who are coming after on this planet. Yes it is may be a little more trouble but is that ten minutes of watching the telly so important rather than considering the whole of society?

    Of course people should be fined if they are not willing to make this extremely small effort. In Holland where the question of land has always been a problem, they fine people who do not recyle. Why should we reward those who are doing what they should be doing? the whole population needs educating to the simple facts of how the plante works and what we are doing to it and what the consequences will be, and then made to be fullly responsible. As for various people who have complained on the news that their tins are full of maggots, how about thinking of the poor bin men and doing the decent thing, like washing them out, it takes about 10 seonds.

  35. At 05:30 PM on 24 May 2007, Jodie wrote:

    TOTALLY HYPOCRITICAL comments from the government minister re recycling. Can we fine government departments for not recycling? I am a civil servant and my office produces large quantities of cardboard, plastic bottles and glass. These are currently recycled via voluntary efforts of a few staff who feel strongly about green issues, the overseeing government dept has no corporate recycling scheme in place.

  36. At 05:31 PM on 24 May 2007, B Stanier wrote:

    Greetings

    Yes we have to recycle more... OK all those landfill sites acorss the UK may have a clay membrane but what happens to all the leachate.. It could and probably does get into subterranean watercorses...
    At some time in the future the sites might well have to be excavated and the remains burnt to fuel power stations. Who is going to fund that? Should we be thinking of that now not later....

  37. At 05:34 PM on 24 May 2007, Sheila Shepard wrote:

    Surely the packaging problem should be dealt
    with at source not foisted on a public who are
    struggling to comply. What about EU regulations and Health & Safety requirements for packaging? Could the supermarkets at least not
    package even some fruit and veg and supply paper bags for shoppers to pick what they want loose rather than plastic bags? The local recycling containers are frequently full when recycled items are taken and there are signs about fly-tipping! Having made the journey to a recycling area, do you then drive round until you find the right container for your needs with some space in it? Not all of us can do this!

  38. At 05:35 PM on 24 May 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Re me....oops! sorry, wrong place for that comment.
    Memo to self.....do not try to read the Blog and listen to the programme at the same time!

    Michael Knight (1) My household rubbish is in the outside bin. My paper box and bottles/cans box are kept inside the house, bottles and cans being washed out first. I do admit you need space for the boxes, but having them inside and carrying them through the house is not a problem.

  39. At 05:40 PM on 24 May 2007, alan evans wrote:

    Can we compost David Milliband?

  40. At 05:41 PM on 24 May 2007, Tony Gardner wrote:

    In Belgium (where I live) our rubbish is placed outside once a week in plastic sacks, (which are marked with the local council name and different colours for different content (re-cycling). These sacks are purchased at all the normal shopping outlets, supermarkets etc for around 1 €uro. The more rubbish you have the more bags you need therefore paying the price. The opposite is obviously also the case.

    If, in UK, people are to be charged for excess rubbish in their bins it doesn't take much imagination to see people putting rubbish in other peoples bins! What a riot...

  41. At 05:43 PM on 24 May 2007, Christina Tyree wrote:

    Mr Milliband has obviously not thought this policy through. I live in block of flats owned by a Housing Association we do NOT have ANY recycling. We also have three joint wheelie bins which are full to overflowing with glass, newspapers, tins and plastic as well as household rubbish. If the Council provided us with recycling the bins would not be overflowing. Houses on the same street DO get kerbside bins but NOT flats! How is he expecting an inspector to work out who has deposited what in the wheelie bins ? I have been trying for YEARS (speaking & writing to Cllrs, written to local paper, written to head of the Council and tabled a question to the "Cleaner & Greener" committee, written to Ken Livingstone )all to no avail. Croydon Council have said they WILL give ALL flats recycling within 3 years! also ALL the rubbish from city centre bins ALL goes in landfill. I take my recycling on the bus to bins 10 mins away to use recycling bins owned by another borough. Any advice Mr Milliband ? back to you!

  42. At 05:44 PM on 24 May 2007, Hannah Evans wrote:

    My local council has so far given us 4 large wheelie bins, one for glass, one for garden use, one for cardboards and one for general waste. They are also talking about introducing one for plastics. I will not have enough room soon in my garden to keep all these bins!

  43. At 05:46 PM on 24 May 2007, Duncan Dwinell wrote:

    Thank you Eddie for trying to get some sense....but ultimately not succeeding in getting a full confession!
    Paying or fining people for anything whatsoever ALWAYS leads to manipulation/ mistakes/ corruption/ mishandling. This is the GOLD star at school approach: the children with the most Gold Stars are the ones who behave so badly to start with that any improvement gets noticed. The ones who behave well anyway never get rewarded. If recycled rubbish gets weighed, then put rocks in! If landfill gets weighed, then put it all in your neighbour's bin! NO NO NO NO NO! It won't work. Allowing the local authority to take charge is not passing the buck, but simply delegating the fine. That's the real rubbish!

    In parts of America, recycling takes place at the supermarket for cash-back. That works! It's their junk in the first place! They sold it to us! Hooray to the man in the supermarket who rips all the packaging off before he goes through the till and leaves the rubbish in the shop!

    Duncan Dwinell
    Borough Green, Kent

    01732-884122

  44. At 05:52 PM on 24 May 2007, Judith Robertson wrote:

    As a midwife I am very concerned about disposable nappies. Its horrendous how many go into land fill sites each week with the average baby getting through about 40 a week (conservative estimate). Let's promote terry type nappies and put them in the washing machine. I recycle everything I can and our city council empties our waste bin fortnightly and the other week we have recycling ones. It works fine. I am all for hitting the pockets of those who can't be bothered to recycle and address the rubbish problem.

  45. At 05:52 PM on 24 May 2007, Peter Copeland wrote:

    Regarding Rubbish. I must say I tend agree with many of the blog comments already posted.

    The area where I live (Conwy BC N-Wales) is about to start fortnightly collection, I note that it all seems to be strategically timed to be after the Welsh Assembly Elections.

    As far as re-cycling per se, is concerned, maximum brownie points have been earned for at least the last decade by this household at least by re-cycling 75% of all waste generated mainly by using private transport/time.

    It is only just recently that the local authoity has provided "Plastic only" disposal points. By my reckoning 40-50% of all household waste going to landfill is plastic packaging - yet no provision is being made by our local council in the way of specific bins/boxes/sacks etc. So for the majority of people they will keep on putting such material in the wheely bin which of course - yes you've gussed it - will go to the landfill!!!

  46. At 05:56 PM on 24 May 2007, Hugh Walter wrote:

    It's not just that we should get rebates, we should be able to counter prosecute, that's democracy!

    These people from B.liar down to the most junior member of the council have forgotten that they are 'SERVANTS'. If we didn't vote for them the senior ones would not be there.

    We pay their wages, expenses relocation grants and travel, we pay for their foriegn junkets, and we pay for them to take us to court! fine us and charge us.

    We should be able to do likewise, instead the court system is loaded against us doing a thing to stop them doing what they like with our money

  47. At 05:58 PM on 24 May 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    angela Thomas @34 wrote

    "It is outrageous that people will not assume responsibility for themselves. You make a mess, you clear it up. You make a lot of rubbish, you are responsible."

    Hear hear. I look forward to the vans that deliver people's internet shopping also collecting all the packaging that comes wrapped round it, including the nine carrier-bags each with a whole three items in them, and sundry other unnecessary plastics.

    If *I* didn't make that mess; I'd resent being expected to pay to clear it up. And the customers who buy via the internet may well be doing so because they are unable to get to the shops: how easy will they find it to get to the tip?


    In general, there is something rather wonderful about the three words "recycled", "rubbish" and "parliament": you can put them in any order you like and they are true as a newspaper headline, if you add punctuation as necessary. :-)

  48. At 06:12 PM on 24 May 2007, Fifi wrote:

    I agree with you Gillian.

    What will make me angry though, is when we will be penalised if we don't sort our waste before it's collected ... AND have to pay more in Council Tax as well.

    Because, my friends, that's what will happen. Few local authorities dare admit it publicly, but they all know it's coming.

    Landfill's been such a cheap option for so long, we all have unrealistic expectations of what can be done for what cost.

    And I repeat -- separating out business waste, and landfilling it all mixed together, is totally counter productive....

    ...IF this is all about recycling rather than money.

    Fifi

  49. At 06:15 PM on 24 May 2007, John Dallman wrote:

    Here's an example of a fairly comprehensive council recycling system: it's the one used in Cambridge where I live. You get two wheelie bins - black and green - wehich are full-size by default, but you can ask for small ones if you prefer. You also get two recycling boxes, black and blue. There are alternating weekly collections, for one bin and one box each week.

    In the first week, they take the green bin, which is for anything and everything compostable - all food waste (including meat, after the council got the composting company to apply heat treatments) garden waste, and anything else that will compost, except paper. They also take the blue box, which is for plastic bottles. Just bottles: technical reasons in the plastic recycling industry mean that's worth far more than "all plastics".

    In the second week, they take the black box, which is for paper, glass and metals. Sorting the metals into aliminium and everything else is appreciated. They also take the black bin, which is for landfill.

    The idea is to get the residents to do a little sorting, which is much easier for them than hiring people to do it after collection, and to maximise the gain from recycling. And it seems to work just fine.

    The contrast with my mother's home in North London is huge. She gets a "recycling bin", for paper, glass, plastic and metals, all mixed together. The cost of sorting them after collection seems bound to exceed their value; it's "contractual obligation" recycling, done to meet legal requirements rather than wholeheartedly.

    On the whole, the government's announcements today are for the good. They should have done something more, though, and returned the collection of commercial waste to local authority control. The current contracted-out system gives companies a cash motivation to avoid recycling.

  50. At 06:42 PM on 24 May 2007, jill mary woods wrote:

    Please get the big retailers to stop shrink wrapping everything. I have just bought a Trailing electric socket from a well-known diy store, not only was it in a polythene outer wrapping,it was then inside a rigid inner pre-formed tray that was almost impossible to remove. Cucumbers are shrink-wrapped, then in a further polythene bag, giving name of store, best before date etc. WHY? I am old enough to remember that all fruit and veg was sold loose, put into paper bags that easily decomposed, that most goods were not wrapped, all household diy goods were sold by weight, nails, screws, etc.Paint brushes!! are now in rigid plastic trays, WHY!!! On the subject of junk mail.. I get at least 6 items pre day, none of which have been requested, when I asked my postie if I could get it stopped, he informed me that delivering junk mail paid his wages, as all the regular letter deliveries, from banks,insurance, etc had been taken over by private operators such as TNT, great for competition but leaves Royal Mail in the invidious position of picking up and delivering the dross. Surely, this can be changed!!

  51. At 06:58 PM on 24 May 2007, Markham wrote:

    I noted with interest that private individuals will be fined etc but business which accounts for 90% of the rubbish will be "talked to". Typical!!!

    The only sensible thing the clone said was that different solutions were needed for different parts of the country (one might add within the local authority).

  52. At 07:55 PM on 24 May 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    Jill (48) you may be able to reduce some of your junk mail by signing up with the mailing preference service mpsonline.org This takes you off the general distribution lists but will not remove you from the mailing list of e.g. someone you have previously ordered from via a catalogue.

    However it does not stop the delivery of the anonymous stuff addressed to 'the householder' which apparently helps to fund the Royal Mail. You can get yourself removed from this as well but you then miss out on official stuff from your local council etc.

    There is also a telephone preference service which reduces the amount of cold calling you get, though not calls which are random dialled.

  53. At 08:36 PM on 24 May 2007, Andrew Menczykowski wrote:

    Re "the governement's rubbish plans", refunds and rebates:

    Two emails read out on the programme talked about councils charging extra for removal of garden waste and then subsequently failing to do so, the writers then suggested that they should ask for refunds or rebates.

    Of course their councils are failing to deliver service while being super-efficient at taking the cash, this should be no surprise. This is what councils do, fail to deliver the services they say they will (LIE), and take money without giving anything in return (STEAL).

    I personally have recently being forced to leave my home of 20 years in Dundee, because in spite of the council and police declaring their "commitment to dealing with antisocial problems", they are actually farcically and incompetently incapable of dealing with antisocial problems. Dundee council have taken my money in advance, but refused to deliver a service I have already paid for (LIED and STOLEN). Other councils will be the same in this respect, so why should simple refuse disposal be any different?

    This is part of the general picture where public servants do not serve the public, ministries of defence deal with attack, antisocial behaviour tenant teams do not deal with antisocial behaviour, environmental health departments do not deal with environmental health, and refuse departments do not collect refuse.

    Of course we should get rebates from councils that fail to deliver. We should all flood them with personal invoices demanding rebates for services paid for but not delivered (garden waste disposal, antisocial tenant teams, police). We should be cancelling our direct debits and let them sing for it.

    Perhaps we should write a nice letter to Putin asking if he wouldnt mind directing his electronic attacks to UK councils for a pleasant change.

    In order for public servants to start serving the public, they have to be hit in their pockets first. Cancel your direct debit. Do it now.

  54. At 08:42 PM on 24 May 2007, Dennis Williams wrote:

    I live in Denbighshire, North Wales and unlike our neighbours in Conwy; we have a very tiny Black wheelie bin for non-recyclable waste. 180litre. Even in April and May the slightest breeze can topple these thin bins to the ground.

    We have 55litre Blue boxes for tins and glass and a white canvass sack for plastic bottles; and like a previous correspondent, Denbighshire County Council only accept 2 types of plastic bottles – PET (pop bottles) and HDPE (ready meal trays although as a tray is NOT a bottle; it is not accepted) dozens of other types of plastic shouldn’t but does end up in that sack; otherwise the black wheelie bin would be filled up in no time given the amount of tubs and trays fresh (yes fresh) meat and vegetables and fruit comes in from the supermarkets.

    Paper (except, junk mail, envelopes, yellow pages and many other types) goes into a small 35litre blue sack for collection.

    On the alternative fortnight, our green 140litre garden waste bins are collected; no food scraps, no brown cardboard (toilet roll tubes etc) and no veg peelings; basically grass, leaves and twigs.

    Given that we probably have one of the smallest wheelie bins in the country, collected fortnightly, we seem to have many conditions and limitations imposed on us.

    The local recycling centre is run by a division of Europe's leading waste services company whose employees turn up half an hour late, leave 10 - 15 minutes early and guess what? – Most rubbish is thrown straight into a ‘general purpose’ skip, having climbed up a six foot stair case carrying the waste – Sound familiar? This goes straight into the landfill without any chance of recycling, apart what get scavenged and sold.

    Council employees having 2 or 3 black wheelie bins and not recycling? Don’t get me started on that one.

    Oh and the man in charge of waste and recycling doesn’t even live in the same county.

    To sum it up; the whole county has a very ad-hoc approach to recycling with no real thought, except the cost of initially implementing the schemes.

  55. At 09:22 PM on 24 May 2007, stewart M wrote:

    At home We have rubbish bin, Glass & Tin bin, Paper bin and green garden waste bags. I also have a composter. We are still lucky enough to have weekly rubbish collections ( rest are 4 weekly). Being a family we fill the rubbish bin on a weekly basis. We usuall don't fill the other bins to justify putting out monthly and the council now offers an insert for the glass/tin/paper bin to reduce the number of bins. I think it would make sense if houses pooled the recyling bins but the issue then is where they live between collections. I'm sure the french/Germans/Belgians have bigger shared bins for recyling.
    Belgium has deposits on almost ALL its glass bottles. (note to self take them beer bottles back when passing through Brugge)

    At work I have to PAY to get the council to take my rubbish and have to tell them every year what will be in the bin! I'm not very good at predicting next years rubbish. Most of it is paper and could go in my home paper bin but that's not allowed. Remember the news story about a bloke getting fined for putting junk mail in a street waste bin.

    I agree that there is also too much packaging on food now. Cucumber in fridge in shrink wrapped plastic!

  56. At 09:24 PM on 24 May 2007, madmary wrote:

    I live on an estate of purpose built flats. Each block has a large bin for all of us. There is no facility for recycling nor is there much space. I will be contacting those in charge to see if they can do something about this, but it will be a logistical nightmare. And the local tip is a fair distance away and my car is not large enough to accomodate much rubbish so I would have to make so many trips my carbon footprint would grow.

    Same for my business. There is no space and no facility!

    Easy to talk about recycling not so easy to accomplish it.

    Mary

  57. At 09:33 PM on 24 May 2007, anth wrote:

    I sort and recycle all I can; I could recycle more if the local council had the facilities. The current roadside collection is useless, I have to deliver to the local centre, but only when I'm "passing" on the way to other places.

    I also recycle much of the company's waste - cardboard for example - saving them the costs of paying for collection of such waste; don't councils think that businesses can sort their waste? The cardboard is no different to the cardboard recycled by domestic recyclers, for example.

    Having said that: I forget where I read it, but apparently loose-packed apples suffer a higher spoilage rate than pre-packed bags of apples. I would love to be able to pick my own apples/mushrooms/whatever, but even the greener sounding supermarkets appear to be pre-paking *more* and I suspect stock spoilage may be the reason. Certainly the dog-ends of a loose-packed tray of whatever are unappetising.

    So while I agree there is much over-packing done by the supermarkets, the matter is not as simple as it may seem. You would have to return to greengrocers/market stalls to be able to have loosepacked goods, but *they* do the packing into paper bags, not you.

    As for alternatives to the free plastic carrier bags, most supermarkets I'm aware of do offer larger, reinforced plastic bags that it is practical to use many times (but you have to remember to take them!).

    Smaller grocery shops etc don't offer any alternative. Indeed, according to the (subjective) bi-daily brochure from a stationery company, the purchase of the plastic bags as used by the small grocery shops can be done at remarkably low prices.

    People may remember that S**nsb*rys had a method whereby one purchased a number of (lidless) plastic boxes to use on a special trolley, to avoid plastic bags. Apart from being (in my opinion) rather badly designed - you should have been able to stack them when full as well as when empty - I noticed they dropped the experiment. W**tr*se currently have some collapseable reinforced plastic "bags", over and above the multi-use bag, but it seems you have to have their credit card to be able to acquire them!

    Ha! this is a malacious posting, I see!!!

  58. At 10:05 PM on 24 May 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Friends who live in Manchester in a terrace house with smallish front garden have 4 full-sized bins. Can't remember what they're all for, but they sure fill up the front path, & since there is no access to the rear garden without going through the house, the bins have to stay in the front all week.

  59. At 10:32 PM on 24 May 2007, madmary wrote:

    I usually do remember to take my "bags for life" to the supermarket. I can't stand the weedy smaller bags anyway. So maybe I'm doing my bit.

    Mary

  60. At 10:49 PM on 24 May 2007, mittfh wrote:

    Here's the deal in Wyre Forest:

    Black wheelie bin, emptied fortnightly.
    Two nice large storage boxes, emptied weekly:
    Black - paper and textiles.
    Green - plastic (HDPE (1)/PET (2)), cans (including clean foil trays) and glass (unbroken!).

    Almost everything else (including green waste) involves a trip to a household waste site. Many residents do frequent these, but expect queues on sunny weekends as not only are the sites very busy, but inevitably you also have to put up with the giant skip trucks manouvering to pick up / set down the skips.

    But in an age of identity theft, they periodically commit an own goal by running a competition whereby you fill out your name and address on a slip of paper and 'throw it out' in your recycling box. The idea is that one will be chosen at random from the pile when it is emptied at the bulking facility. However, as a few residents have commented, surely leaving pieces of paper with your name and address available for anyone to pinch is rather dodgy.

  61. At 10:52 PM on 24 May 2007, anth wrote:

    I think I may have converted my mother to listening to PM.

    I relayed a few of EM's choice comments in the last couple of days, and for the first time in ages her neighbours were saying "Quick. Turn over the TV. What's [my mother] watching?"

    It's a thinnish wall between the two semi-detached houses.

  62. At 11:06 PM on 24 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    We have three bins.

    A large one that we pay for and accepts most of the commercial junk.

    A new smaller wheelie bin with a *chip* for non recyclable products.

    The old wheelie is now for recyclable produce.

    Like Fifi and Gillian we have two bins indoors for the recyclable and non-recyclable produce.

    The system has taken a while to understand as it's only recently that we have been given permission to put the green tops from Asda milk cartons in - though the plastic containers have always been OK.

    Cleaning tins are a nigthtmare as I'm always getting cut. Rinsing everything out must be using gallons of extra water.

    In general I'm in favour -- providing that when Bournemouth start the envisaged 'pay by weight' system we *all* don't end up paying more than before.

    The weight issue is also interesting. Density of certain items etc....

  63. At 11:54 PM on 24 May 2007, Fi Brown wrote:

    Wonderful, bring it on!

    I cannot wait to be taxed according to my waste output! ;)

    I am a single parent of an 8 yr old and a 7yr old we put out one small bag of landfill refuse a week. We recycle everything we can and frequently exceed our 'green' bin capacity yet cannot have a bigger bin because of where we live. We walk all glass to the bottle bank and compost kitchen waste and some paper.

    Our fruit, veg and meat comes from a local box scheme and I drive a 1.2 engine car.

    I have nicely plumped loft insulation and cavity wall filling, I have turned my thermostat down and all of the bulbs in the house are energy efficient.

    I cannot wait for targeted taxes. Why on earth should I pay the same as my neighbours who drive 2 4x4s, do not use their green bin, don't compost and even use their 'wonderfu'l vehicles to drive to the village shop...all of 1/4 of a mile away.

    I am all for personal choice and I am all for being taxed based on ones decisions.

  64. At 09:13 AM on 25 May 2007, Sasha Pleasance wrote:

    Yet more 'worthy' Government policy which yet again has not been thought out and will cost the tax payer even more - do we not pay enough taxes under this administration already?
    While the Government is busy 'getting on with the job' of mismanagement I propose the following simple steps that would target penalization without extra tax burden to the masses:
    1/ Households pay per sack of rubbish which could either be enforced at the local dump or a household bill - this system works very well in Southern Ireland where there is no rubbish collection and NO COUNCIL TAX and so people have to take their rubbish to the dump and pay per sack - it really makes people think about what they throw away and more importantly product purchase!

    2/ Those that should be HEAVILY penalized are the food manufacturers who package their products in unrecyclable, wasteful and purely cosmetic packaging.

  65. At 09:18 AM on 25 May 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    What worries me is that the easiest way to reduce the volume of your "Waste" is to burn it. So, unless the Govt. bans bonfires (yes, please, except in November) we could have a lot more pollution.

  66. At 10:26 AM on 25 May 2007, Humph wrote:

    Re Gillian (38) When I first read your comment (11) I had a quick look at the top title for this thread to see if the original quote: "What do you think of THE SHOW so far?" had been used. If it had of been your comment, in a thread where everyone else was talking about rubbish, would have been very apt. But for two little words . . . Ho hum. ;-)

    H.

  67. At 10:47 AM on 25 May 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Hmmm, we'll all be examining our bins now. Well spotted, Jonnie!

  68. At 11:30 AM on 25 May 2007, Howard wrote:

    My Local Authority (Waltham Forest) are pretty good about re-cycling. We have black boxes that they will collect the contents of from the front of our house - usually every other week. The take glass, paper, cardboard, tins and certain plastics (but not all). They provide subsidised compost bins, so we compost our own garden waste. I wish they would subsidise water butts too. We still have weekly rubbish collections, in a household of three we put about one bag a week into our wheelie bin. The local council tip will also take all sorts of stuff for re-cycling from old electrical applicances to engine oil to batteries to paint. I must confess that I'm not at all sure what happens to all of the "re-cycled" material, which is a concern. I'd hate us to be going to all this effort just for the material to end up on a tip in China.

    My one complaint is having dutifully put our bins and boxes at the boundary of our property, when I get home at night they are scattered all over the pavement and people's front gardens. I've lost count of the number of times we've had to play pass-the-parcel with our bin and those of our neighbours (and the bins all have our house numbers on them), or fetch the black boxes from the middle of the road. It's a small annoyance in the great scheme of things, I know, but it's very simple and easy to fix!

  69. At 11:42 AM on 25 May 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    I think is totally unfeasible; hows is it going to work for people in flats? Let alone the chipped bins and monitoring those where are they to be stored. I live in an converted building split in to 10 flats, theres no room for 10 wheelie bins anywhere. Will the council perhaps provide a large Biffa bin that only residents can access....I doubt it. The technology is lacking. encouraging people to recycle is surely a better way to go then 'fining' people to have their refuse removed.

  70. At 11:56 AM on 25 May 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Sasha (64):

    If your first proposal is introduced, I would have to take my black bag of rubbish on (I think) three buses, then have a walk through a rather seedy area to get to my nearest dump. Do you think the driver would charge me a second fare since my bag would probably take up a seat? How would other passengers react if the rubbish had started to smell?

    If I got a flat of my own, rather than looking after my elderly mother, would she be expected to carry her own bag of rubbish to the dump? Given her dizzy spells, lack of breath and having to walk with a stick, that might not be an easy journey to make for a 78-year-old.

    I'm sorry, but I think that idea is daft, and I can't see how it works in Eire unless virtually all the population have cars. Just as daft is the idea of weighing bins since that just means unscrupulous people will dump their rubbish in other people's. Padlocking your bins to prevent this is taking a daft idea to the ridiculous stage.

  71. At 12:09 PM on 25 May 2007, nikki noodle wrote:

    Re The Stainless Steel Cat (70) and Sasha (64):

    I think it might be a proposal worth thinking through: all of us *buy* our shopping and take it home or get it delivered, so a logical extension might be for us to *take* any waste to the dump. Especially as people would club together, and maybe, some bright spark could even set up a business?!

    It would be the market place as opposed to the nanny state (or big brother state...)

    nikki

  72. At 01:59 PM on 25 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re Big Sister.

    I hadn't a clue where the chip was concealed. Chris Jarvis showed me - he takes rubbish quite seriously.

    Have you seen him on telly? ;-)

  73. At 03:23 PM on 25 May 2007, Wonko wrote:

    One idea that I've heard of from Canada for your consideration. I'm not saying it's a good or a bad idea, I'm just interested in your thoughts. A small town in Ontario implemented a tag system for rubbish bags. You buy your tags from the town council - I think it was a dollar a tag - and every bag you put out must have a tag. If the bag doesn't have a tag, it doesn't get picked up. At the same time a re-cycling box system was implimented taking just about everything. In addition, the town taxes were reduced by a proportion.

    A possible answer?

  74. At 04:53 PM on 25 May 2007, Ann Tarrant wrote:

    (Eddie,I have just posted this on the 'Science' MB. Forgive me for just copy/pasting it here)

    Those of us who have come to live in France for a while, listen in bemusement to the current fuss about waste disposal, often on You & Yours & now on Costing the Earth. I wish I could post photos here. I would show you our local disposal site. It is immaculate & serviced weekly. Householders sort ALL rubbish, bring it to this layby just by the village 'Stade' & put it in the different bins; plastic, glass, paper, tin & card, bagged household waste, (there's not much of this.) It costs us nothing, & we just bring a bit when we're on our way somewhere.
    For bigger stuff, like all the old insulation & plaster we've pulled out of the house we're renovating, there is the Dechetterie. Again, I wish I could show you this large, well-organised, spotless site, where you can dispose of anything on production of your membership card, which is given on the spot to those proving local residence with an electricity bill. Furniture, hedge-trimmings, fridges, they take & sort it all.
    Then all village communes receive the revenues generated to add to their share of local taxes to spend as they wish. So every village has a modern, well-equipped village Hall & Function room, playing field, often flood-lit & with a spectator stand, flower tubs in landscaped village environment & no vandalism.
    Is it rocket science? Provide carrot not stick & some common sense, = No big-brother chips, no profiteering private companies, no whingeing people.

  75. At 05:26 PM on 25 May 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Nikki (71):

    That's fine if shops start waste dumps beside them, but at the moment, dumps are a lot more difficult to get to than shops if you rely on public transport.

  76. At 05:48 PM on 25 May 2007, Sara Atkinson wrote:

    We're a small charity and we raise a proportion of our funds by selling donated items. Many of the items are fine to sell, but a significant proportion cannot be sold due to their condition or because no one wants them. Are we to be penalised for having excess waste of this nature? Many small (and not so small) charities rely on donated items to get by. What is to stop people dumping their rubbish on us to avoid charges? We are very much in favour of recycling and use groups such as freecycle whenever we can, but there are certain things that just have to be thrown away!

  77. At 06:22 PM on 25 May 2007, Alison wrote:

    HAS NO ONE HEARD OF FREECYCLE.ORG? To recycle furniture and household goods. Whilst in Melbourne I heard of someone who furnished their entire home from this site!!
    They are all over UK as well.
    I must say that in Oz the recycling is very good, it covers all sorts of plastics as well unlike the system in Tolpuddle!!!!! (where the Martyrs come from)!!1

  78. At 06:27 PM on 25 May 2007, Alison wrote:

    OOps forgot to say: Also in Melbourne they have 'hard rubbish day' when people put out old settees, tvs, anything they want to get rid of.
    The collection is done by licensed dealers and the council. Some landfill sites near here also have areas set aside where some of the STUFF is sold of.
    There seems to be a whole world of rubbish out there!!!!

  79. At 06:43 PM on 25 May 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    This one's for Jonnie - I'm sure I spotted him there amongst this crowd ....

    http://www.berylcook.org/store/ProductDetails_Unlinked.aspx?productID=192

  80. At 05:00 PM on 26 May 2007, Kathy Stephen wrote:

    Yeh, yeh, I've had a chipped wheely bin for a couple of years now in France - one does get over it.
    But what interests me, is where can you get extension leads that would fit a poodle and a sort-of patterdale? They go through so many batteries!!!!

  81. At 11:20 AM on 27 May 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Ha, ha, Big Sis!

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