There has a been a lot of talk today about the frequency of rubbish collection in the UK. Apparently, many Councils are moving to alternate week collections: recyclables one week, and ordinary household rubbish the next. There have been a lot of complaints about this, with people saying that their bins smell or that they are getting maggot infestations. Inevitably, the Daily Mail has weighed in with the “The Great Dustbin Revolt”.
Personally, I think it’s revolting that people throw so much away, particularly food waste, which is what must be generating most of the smell and maggots. I know that not everyone has the space to compost food waste, but buying only as much as you need would be a start. If more councils offered a food/green waste collection along with other recyclables (with firmly sealing containers), a twice weekly collection shouldn’t be a problem at all. Another approach might be to offer a weekly collection, but charge by weight for non-recyclable waste, offering a credit for recyclable waste. I suspect that would focus people’s minds on reducing their waste output rather effectively.
We get a weekly household waste collection, with a fortnightly recycling collection (paper, cans and glass), but we fill about half a dustbin sack a week now that we compost our food scraps and green waste. The vast majority of what we throw away is plastic-like stuff that we can’t recycle locally, and some of which is deposited on our front drive by passing littering kids (grr…).
Japan has a fantastic (though rather complicated) recycling system because they have very little land available for landfill. Just because we’ve got a bit more land, I don’t see why we should waste it all by burying our rubbish.