Sunday, 24 January 2010

Refusing refuse

The Land Rover went into service today for one of its secondary justifications - as a load lugger to transport a heap of junk to the tip. Ironically, the reason the junk needed to be cleared quickly was to make space to park the Land Rover out of the way. I console myself that it would have had to be cleared away at some point anyway, though.

The junk consisted of:
  • one old tyre
  • a decomposing wood and plastic cold frame, now in about 8 pieces
  • the remains of a plastic garden table, and
  • our old broken kitchen hob

None of this is permitted in our weekly grey bin.

Now, my council is willing to collect this from my house, but will charge me the princely sum of £34 (unless they classed the remains of the cold frame as more than one item, in which case a further £36 would be payable). The very much cheaper alternative, which I opted for, is for me to take it in person to the collection centre where I can deposit it for free. The only downside of that option is that I have to park next to the correct skip, each marked with one of a range of categories, none of which quite fitted. I decided that "Household Waste" covered a wide range of items. After all, all of the items were waste, and all had come from my household.

Anyway, whilst driving there and back, I realised the delicious irony. Here I was, driving my 4x4, consuming diesel, and emitting CO2. Why? Because the local Council - who already run a waste collection lorry past my house every week - refuse* to allow me to load the refuse onto it. Why? Because the amount and type of refuse they will collect is strictly limited. Why? For environmental reasons...

*Yes, that was deliberate...


  1. That's slowly beginning to dawn on the PTB too: "Shadow Local Government Minister Bob Neill said: “Labour’s bin cuts have just forced people to drive to their local dump to get rid of their rubbish, increasing congestion and pollution from the traffic. Conservatives will tear up Labour’s rules forcing councils to go fortnightly and work to re-establish proper weekly bin collections.”"

  2. I love the logic of the study: " halls which charged home owners for removing garden waste and collected rubbish on alternate weeks saw kerbside waste reduced by an average 264lbs a year."

    Or, to put it in other words, councils that flatly refused to take more than 'x' amount of rubbish found that the amount of rubbish that they collected dropped to only 'x'. No, really??

    What did they expect we would do with the 264lbs that remained? Apart from drive it to the tip, obviously?

  3. What did they expect we would do with the 264lbs that remained?

    We could all indulge in fly-tipping. This has apparently increased with the restrictions on Council kerb-side collections. It looks horrid, attracts vermin, blocks pavements...and eventually the Council has to make a special trip for an additional kerb-side collection.

  4. I recently had some building work done, and my jobbing builder said he'd need a skip, as he couldn't take the rubbish to the tip in his van without being charged. Some quick maths showed that the amount of fuel that I would use going to the tip towing my trailer containing this domestic refuse from "my DIY activities" would be a fraction of the cost of the skip. Well we pensioners have to watch every penny!!

  5. We have fortnightly collections and cardboard must fit in a container the size of a baking tray. I have around 1/2 wheelie bins worth every two weeks.
    I pay a private company £5 a fortnight to take it all away, cheaper than the £5 a week I used pay cash in hand to the council bin men to take it.

    I don't know about the Tories being much different. Its mainly EU rules. I remeber Mr Slicker being asked by the Tories in 2005 about his waste proposals. He was mostly saying when waste is collected matters far less than how much is collected. Give people adequate storage and you could easily have 1/2 the number of lorries and collectors as was the case then.
    They weren't very interested.

  6. What they do not point out, it is even worse. Because instead of having ONE bin wagon, going past your house, you have one for glass (Where regardless of all your hard work seperating white brown and green, the throw into the same wagon any way), one for household waste, one for paper, one for fuck knows what, and one just because the binnies want some overtime.