Wheelie bin crisis? Blame the French. That's what Lewisham is doing, claiming that a fire in France is responsible for a severe worldwide shortage that has also blighted local homeowners. Councillors in the southeast London borough have hit upon an ingenious solution - they're asking people to suck up a little of that wartime spirit and share their bins with the neighbours.
Never mind that most folk in London could barely pick their neighbours out of a knife-crime police lineup, Lewisham have suggested that residents who requested a new bin should make nice with the next-doors "until we receive the stock that is on order" - which might not be till November. It'll certainly make sniffing through household refuse to ascertain what's being chucked out a little more complicated. And it's a far cry from the threat levelled at Brent residents, who'll be fined if they don't put recyclables into their boxes as of this week.
Lewisham coucillor Susan Wise mused on the situation thus:
If your neighbour has a recycling bin, could you ask them if they would share it with you until yours is delivered?
Well, why not indeed? It all seems so innocent and helpful, and yet with fisticuffs breaking out at water fights, not to mention the upwardly mobile crowd and their fiend for recycling, we wonder how long it'll be before the police are called to break up a wrangle over who dumped those organic garbanzo bean cans in whose green box.