Why not make our bin collections daily Eric?

James Newton reports:

Soooo… Eric Pickles believes we should encourage people to ‘throw away’ more often by reinstating weekly bin collections. Why?

I assume that this may be because Mr Pickles believes in the first instance that society is so beyond help that rather than educating the British public to reduce the unnecessary amount of waste we all create, Government should take the responsibility away from people to manage the crap they produce and throw it away for us.

Who is taking responsibility for this? Sooner or later we will run out of places to hide and forget about it.. Individuals should be but (more importantly) industry must be held accountable if they are producing high levels of un-recyclable waste.

This is embarrassing: As a nation we produce more waste per head of population than many of our European counterparts, with an average of 592kg (1,306lb), above the EU average of 577kg, (1,274lb). We also lag behind in the amount of waste recycled, with a UK average figure of 18% based on these figures, well below the EU average of 36.4%.

The government believes that better procurement and joint working can improve the efficiency of collections while improving the frontline service for the public in an affordable and practical manner… They ‘understand’ that the public have a reasonable expectation that household waste collections services should be weekly, particularly for smelly waste.

Do they? Is this a reasonable expectation? No. How does improving the efficiency of a system that is so instrumentally defective make it better? Somebody has missed the point here. There seems to have been a huge over sight in assessing the root cause of the problem, a belligerent obsession with efficiency rather than effectiveness.

Perhaps this may be because Mr Pickles believes that the polluting way and rate at which we create, consume and discard things is working out just fine… Perhaps industry have it right, we need coke bottles that have the potential to last 400 years after the drink has been drunk…

There needs to be an emphatic message sent out to change the perception of ‘rubbish’ from the junk we want to dump, to a valuable resource to be cherished and only thrown away as a very last resort and in-still an understanding in everyone that there is no ‘away’. Then a trip back to the drawing board to re-think the way we make things by starting with what we do with them when we’ve had our way with them.

Government should be facilitating our ability as a country to deal with this. Fortnightly collections, since their introduction, have helped improve recycling rates. In returning to weekly emptying it is projected that it would cost an extra £200m annually. I thought we had a deficit to reduce not to mention a planet to preserve…

James Newton