Westminster City Council is making a stand against free London newspapers London Lite (owned by Associated Newspapers) and The London Paper (owned by Rupert Murdoch) not because the City Council is tired of the two types of non-news offered in the many, many copies distributed each day, nor are they taking an official stand against the irritating assault course of newspaper distributors outside each major tube and bus station but because there is just so much waste created by these freesheets.
Put together, more than 900,000 copies of The London Paper and London Lite are handed out each day. That creates an estimated four tonnes of waste for disposal. The particular problem spots are Charing Cross, Embankment, Leicester Square, Oxford Circus and Victoria Stations, all of which are at times choked with discarded newspapers - and Westminster City Council which is responsible for all these areas has had enough.
The council would like both newspapers to organise 150 recycling bins in the problem areas and some form of regular collection. Neither paper has agreed on costs and the fight has inevitably gone to threat and counter-threat. A one-month deadline has been set by the council for a new permit scheme to be put into place; if The London Paper and London Lite want distribution in the problem spots but can not agree to sponsoring recycling bins and collections, both papers will need to apply for permits to continue their presence in those places. And probably have those applications refused.
We can see exactly how this situation could unfold - because we have dreamed of it many times. We long for that glorious day when one may run for a bus without five or six London Lite / The London Paper distributors blocking the way and without the potential slalom effect of skidding past the waiting bus on a wad of discarded, rain-soaked, unwanted, wasted papers. Bring it on, Westminster City Council! Bring. It. On.