The dear old Evening Standard is all up in arms that people are being "forced" to shut their dustbin lids or risk not getting their rubbish collected.
We're not quite sure why. Surely, putting your rubbish in a standard issue (240L, wheelie, locking) bin and keeping it shut helps keep our streets cleaner and safer? Foxes can't get at bin bags, things can't blow away, unsightly stacks of supermarket carrier bags and globs of spilled takeaway don't mess up the pavement. Knowing there's a limit to weekly rubbish collection must also encourage households who find themselves in excess of the 240L of waste to think about what they're chucking out. Alright, so they must just try to hijack their neighbours' litreage on the sly - not all of us have caring, sharing people next door - but Councils have got to take action on household waste and that action has to influence they way we deal with the stuff we don't want in our houses.
We'd been mildly worrying about our failure to recycle organic waste but it wasn't until a Council person knocked at the door this Sunday afternoon and ordered a special brown bin and left us with a free sample pack of biodegradeable cornstarch bags that we actually started to change our habits (and it's shocking how much food gets chucked out - we've actually started using our peelings for decorative window insulation now).
Don't bag on the Council for acting in the interests of the environment. And the whole "I pay my council tax" whine doesn't cut it either. Councils are providing an impressive range of recycling services and advice alongside their rubbish collections (see Barnet, Islington, Lambeth and Ealing for example) . Look to your bins: reduce, reuse, recycle.
Image courtesy of mikething's Flickrstream.