07/08/2009

Don’t put your chips in our bins

Posted in News, Refuse collection, Wheelie Bins at 8:13 pm by henrysgauntlet

More news this week of Thurrock’s new three bin waste collection service.

With a few exceptions  –  flats and exempted properties because of their position  –  we shall all be getting three wheelie bins:  the present green or grey for general waste;  blue for recyclables like paper, glass, etc, to replace the blue box;  and brown for garden waste and kitchen waste to replace the present green bag.

Whilst I sympathise with the feelings of those living in terraced houses opening straight on to the footpath, who find the idea of three wheelie bins standing outside their front windows abhorrent, I am glad that at last we shall be having a more sensible system.    If we all recycle properly, we shall have far more recyclables than general waste.   The little blue box is ridiculous, the blue bin much better.   In fact, for a single person household the green or grey wheelie bin is much too big.   Usually it contains just a couple of small plastic bags of rubbish and a couple of juice cartons.  And for garden rubbish the brown wheelie bin will prove of considerable use.   For anyone with a medium to large garden, the green bag is insufficient in the summer, and is usually accompanied by other bags of grass cuttings, etc.

So a gold star to Thurrock Council for the scheme, but a big black mark for having chips in the new bin  –  no not the fried potato variety, but electronic chips.  The Council says:- 

“As with all our wheeled containers, your new wheeled bins will be fitted with electronic micro-chips. This is purely to ensure that Thurrock can gather important data for our statutory reporting requirements in terms of: 

  • tonnage
  • missed collections
  • participation
  • collection efficiencies.

“Once data is received we can analyse all collection rounds to ensure they are not over or underloaded, identify areas of the borough where participation is low, be able to forecast the seasonal variations in collected recyclates and plan for the impact that all of these issues have on our other services and waste contracts.

“Existing green or grey bins will not be micro-chipped.”

Well, that all sounds nicely anodyne doesn’t it.   But just remember that when the government talked about chips on bins before it was with a view to fining people who put the wrong rubbish in the wrong bins.   And public opinion forced them to withdraw the idea.   Now we have a Conservative council proposing the chip scheme  –  quelle horreur!

How long will it be before we hear of someone being fined for this terrible offence, and how does the system cope with the fact that, as bins have to be put out overnight, anyone can walk along the road and stick their chip papers, yes the fried potato ones, in the wrong bin.   Is it fair that the householder should then be fined?

In the name of individual freedom, we should force the Council to disable the micro-chips in the wheelie bins.

 

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