Thursday, 13 May 2010

How very dare they!

Our council are on the ball where household recycling is concerned, their enthusiasm is commendable, but a little over the top sometimes. They supply us with three wheelie bins, a red one for cardboard and plastics, brown for garden and compostable waste, and a grey one for general rubbish that can't be recycled, this goes to landfill.

Then we have two plastic boxes that we put out on the pavement once a fortnight, a blue one for paper, and green for glass and tins.

I am a keen recycler as I believe we should not be throwing everything into a big hole in the ground, so I diligently sort out my waste and put it in the right container.

However I have just had a letter from the council, not addressed to myself, but a general letter with just the address on the front. It was posted on the other side of the country, in Ellesmere Port. It says, and I quote....

'During April 2010 it was noted that a number of homes in your area did not present material for collection'.

It was in reference to the boxes, it then goes on to explain what should be put into them. I was furious, how dare they send me this letter. Do they think I am dim, or can't be bothered. I was on the phone immediately to the Waste and Recycling department.

I explained the reason for not putting my boxes out on the collection dates, I have a perfectly simple and logical answer. I create very little to put in them. I don't buy newspapers or magazines, so it's only the free papers and junk mail that goes in the box. I drink hardly any wine maybe a couple of bottles a month, and I eat mainly fresh food. In the picture you can see an empty wine bottle and an empty olive oil bottle, most of the cans are from Ben's dog food.
What is the point of putting my boxes out every time when there is so little in them, why make the lorry driver stop for such a piddling small amount, and what a good idea it is to wait untill the boxes are full before I put them out. By the time I had finished my rant the woman was apologising for sending the letter. I should think so to.
After I put the phone down I noticed a council van parked outside, two young ladies have been hovering around for a week or so. I have spoken to them before about recycling so I went out to ask them about the letter. They told me that the council send people out to do surveys on collection dates to see how many are putting their bins and boxes out. All those who haven't, get the letter. How ridiculous is that. What about people who are away from home for a long time for whatever reason, illness or holidays? What about people who do as I do and wait till they have a substantial amount to be collected? Why don't they knock on the door and ask at the time why they haven't put their box out?
Sending a letter is a sneaky way to do it, and I suspect it's just an excuse to give people a job. The council should stop harrassing innocent Joe Public and pay more attention to reducing the rubbish they collect from businesses. Phew, I had to get that off my chest.


  1. And a shocking waste of public money for postage!!

  2. How infuriating! We used to have alternate bags/weeks for paper etc and plastic bottles and tins. We always had paper but, like you would wait to fill a plastic and tin bag. Our local council has now brought in one collection every week for everything on a very long list - plastics, card, paper etc, and we now only have to take our glass bottles to a collection site which seems reasonable. It's so much easier. A neighbouring council has a sort of re-cycling mafia which checks peoples bins and what goes in them!

  3. Ah well, at least all those pointless letters demanding that you generate more recycleable waste can go in the paper recycling box.

    (I bet there's one of those signs in your Council's office that says "You don't have to mad to work here, but it helps". Unfortunately, it will be only half wrong)

  4. It's not very clear on the photograph but the letter and leaflet are on the top of the pile in the box. Ha ha. They have created their own rubbish.

  5. You're a hero!
    I have few tins but do wash them out and put them in the box with the exception of dog food tins. I simply cannot bear the awful smell, will not feed the dog tinned food - my husband does that once a day, I do the dried food in the mornings - and there's no way I'm rinsing those foul stinky things in my sink.

  6. put out empty bins and boxes - just to prove a point

  7. Well done for putting these bussy-bodies in their place! How redicilous, to send waste to people just to remind them to recycle more waste. You have got to laugh about such nonsense.

  8. What a waste of time and money - here in Canada we have pickup for everything once a week and if we don't have enough well that's okay, it gives the trash guys a bit of a lighter day.

  9. I have my doubts about all of this recycling, my visit to the tip recently and in previous times has made me very sceptical about it.
    Last time people were putting all manner of things into the main area, sofas that are made of wood, fabric, foam etc, and when we went to put our wood into the wood bin it was full and we were told to just dump it into the main waste, I would love to be a fly on the wall and follow the waste to see exactly what happens to it, I bet half of it is not recycled.

  10. Our council said this week that they wouldn't empty any bins if there lids weren't down flat on the bin. Yesterday I saw at least 5 bins left on the side of the road unemptied, the bins are cleared every 2 weeks can you imagine where all the recycling stuff will go. One had already been tipped over by a dog or a idiot. It's good to know that councils the world over are quite mad.

  11. We are in the same council as you Ilona and we recycle lots of other stuff too which requires a trip to the centre at Kirton.

    My main reason for commenting was when I ran my cafe i put all my cans etc in my bins at home and i got into trouble ....." those bins are for recycling domestic waste only " was the official line . It would appear you can only recycle business waste if you pay through the nose for it.......even if you go to the tip in a van they assume your a business and make you pay. I think its great what you do with the scrapstore as it means that businesses can recycle responsibly for no cost to them if only the local authority were so enlightened

    I have friends in Dorset and their tip has a table of stuff that people no longer want but is too good to chuck out that people can help themselves too and make a donation to charity, unfortunately since waste management has been privatised even our rubbish has a value so we will never get a system like this ............anyway rant over, enjoy your holiday and Brownsea Island i am so jealous , try to get a picture of a red squirrel just for me!