In order to arrive at its current policy of green box and brown box recycling collections alongside normal rubbish, Islington Council had to do its homework and weigh the options. What more sensible way of doing this than sifting through samples of household rubbish to ascertain what folks were actually chucking out and take it from there?
Unfortunately, the prevalent paranoia about identity theft and (understandable) fear of civil liberties being eroded means that this has caused consternation among some Islington residents and, to add some celebrity waste-watch to the story, it's quite possible that Boris' bins were rifled through. Concern was expressed most shrilly by Emily Thornberry, MP (Labour) who branded the exercise "spying", saying it was "absolutely outrageous and completely unjustified". At least she's consistent, having been a rebel in the 42 days vote.
The (Liberal Democrat) Councillor responsible for the Environment, rather wearily - we imagine - points out that legally, rubbish collected in the Borough is the Council's property until it is disposed of. Furthermore, the process of investigating Islington's rubbish to find a way to pursue the most effective recycling agenda was robust and confidentiality was taken very seriously by the "waste professionals" involved.
We rather think that it was worth it to arrive at the statistic that 60% of our bins can be recycled and justify the introduction of the impressive weekly recycling collections, which seem to work so well round our gaff. Also, haven't these people heard of shredding?
Image of genuine Islington bins author's own.