How many bins is too many? In a time of public sector cuts, is it better to sort your own rubbish rather than paying more council tax for someone else to do it? How can the government encourage more recycling without alienating people?
These were just some of the questions that the press were asking this week, when it emerged that some authorities expect householders to sort waste into nine bins.
On Thursday the Mail reported that nearly 140 local authorities now expect residents to contend with at least five bins. The Mail blamed compulsory recycling regulations.
However, if the headlines were to be believed, we were led to imagine nine wheelie bins lined up outside the home. However, in reality this isn’t correct. Yes not everyone has room for an array of bins, but this figure included, a food caddy which is small and intended for use in the kitchen. A bag for paper which would also be kept in the home, and a bag for clothes which could easily be stored at the bottom of the wardrobe.
It is in fact positive that these facilities are now available. In the past we would all try to cram these items into one black bin, and end up with not enough room. So, the magazine rack would be overflowing and that old pair of jeans would remain languishing at the bottom of the wardrobe. Is it not a good thing that the council are now willingly taking away some of our clutter?
Other European countries have been sorting their waste for years, it’s about time we caught up.