Here in the Forest of Dean we have reasonably good kerbside collections:
Once a fortnight landfill waste is collected along with with dry recycling (paper, glass, tins, aerosols and domestic batteries).
The other fortnight we have garden waste collection – for which we pay £28 per bin per year.
Each week we have food waste collections.
Recently we were told there MIGHT be a switch to three-weekly landfill collections and an increase in recyclables collected from homes. My memory is hazy as to WHAT exactly they might collect but I seem to remember it wasn’t anything that would make much of an impact on our bin. I don’t think plastic bottles or Tetra Pak cartons was on there, for example – and as these are full of air unless you compact them, they can take up considerable space.
The one bin family?
While we have been dubbed ‘the one bin family’ the reality is, that was back in 2010. Now we’re more of a ‘one bin a fortnight’ family – probably much like any other household in our area.
So three weekly collections, yes we could do it, but it would be difficult.
Change of habits
We’d probably have to change our shopping habits again, we’d need to police the bin from our unruly teen – who prefers the convenience of a black bag, rather than sorting recycling – and it would require more time and thought. I admit we’ve got a bit lazy of the past few years. Convenience meals have crept back in, online supermarket deliveries means vegetables are no longer naked and a busy lifestyle means I’m throwing out far more stuff than I should.
Up in Fife, they’re starting an ambitious trial.
The Telegraph say “The pilot scheme will see 2,000 houses have waste collected every four weeks, with another 2,000 having general rubbish picked up every three weeks. Collections of recycled waste will be increased for the duration of the trial which is expected to last at least nine months. ”
Every FOUR weeks?
Wow, even we would find that hard in the winter months.
Monthly bin collections
We get as much wood as we can for hot water and heating, but we still have to burn coal. And it produces a LOT of ash. There’s only so much you can dig into the garden, make paths from or stuff under the hedge.
We also have two kittens who are currently using a litter tray. I expect this to change as they grow up, but for the foreseeable future I’m back to litter trays and waste. One of them is ill and on medication – there’s lots of plastic and syringes to dispose of…
Increased kerbside collections
According to Fife Council website, households on the pilot trial will have the following collections:
Landfill waste every 4 weeks
Plastic and cans every fortnight (including plastic bottles, tubs, food trays, polystyrene food containers and plastic food wrapping such as pasta bags. The only exception is clingfilm)
Paper and cardboard every 4 weeks (including Tetra Pak cartons)
Food and garden waste every fortnight March to Nov and every 4 weeks Dec to Feb.
How low can you go?
Now I’ve seen what they can recycle I reckon I could definitely manage a once-monthly landfill collection. Would it be easy? No, not at all. It would require foresight, planning, care and thought. But I’d say with those sort of kerbside facilities it is doable. And don’t we owe it to our grandchildren / wallets / environment to put some care and thought into the disposal of things we no longer want?
The reason for this trial is that Fife council believe, that although recycling rates are good, there is still 50% of the contents of the average landfill bin that could be recycled at kerbside.
Join in the discussion
Mr G will be talking to Anna and Tony at BBC Five Live on the Drive Show at 6:30 later tonight. It should be a lively conversation with a representative of Fife council and a journalist, who, apparently, throws everything away!
What about you – be honest; could you manage with a once-a-month landfill collection?
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