1 Eagleton Notes: The Curse of the Wheelie Bins

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Curse of the Wheelie Bins

I have 4 wheelie bins.  The plot on which my house stands is nearly 1/3 acre.   The footprint of 4 wheelie bins is under 2 square metres.  Ergo I don't have too much of a problem accommodating the bins.  What happens, though, if you live in a top floor flat with no garden which was never designed to have a bin never mind four of them?  Or consider the situation if you have no access to the back of your house and have to keep 4 wheelie bins in the front garden?  And what happens if you don't have a front garden because your house fronts directly onto the street and you have no rear access to the road either?

France has a very simple situation.  You take all your recycling to the déchèterie (called in the UK a civic amenity site).  The penalties for not doing so are severe and enforced.  More than that, however, is the mentality which, so far as I can see, accepts that one's recycling and waste that isn't part of the household collection goes to the déchèterie and that is that.  In the UK, even with community skips and civic amenity sites and wheelie bins, fly tipping and litter dropping is a scourge and a disgrace.  It's all a question of mentality and unfortunately many in the UK are not considerate either of others nor of the environment when it comes to this subject.

I know that this is a very superficial attempt at saying anything about this subject but when we were on the Fife Coast recently lots of places just weren't worth photographing because a the myriad of bins sitting in front of houses.  I could have moved the ones in this picture but at least here I had another option.








22 comments:

  1. Could you add, street signs and satellite dishes to the list. Sometimes it's not worth bothering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far as photography is concerned Adrian you are absolutely correct.

      Delete
    2. ...and cars. I hate it when an entire street is "parked up" on both sides, spoiling what would otherwise be a very picturesque scene.

      Delete
  2. In my experience you don't have to have wheelie bins if there's no appropriate spot to put them. We lived in an upstairs flat and continued with the old large skips (used by the entire block) even though the houses on the same street used wheelie bins.

    As for the houses in Fife - surely they had the same problem with their rubbish before wheelie bins were introduced?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's probably correct Helen so far as large blocks of flats are concerned. I noticed many places though (including the house in which I was staying which, I think, had 5 wheelie bins in a front garden area probably no more than 8 ft deep from the house front) where there were so many wheelie bins it was a real eyesore. I'm sure that communal bins in places like the little Fife coastal towns would be a realistic solution. Before recycling bins I had one landfill bin and the recycling went to communal skips. It was OK for me because I had a car but even round those skips people left all sorts of junk which wasn't meant for them and here on Lewis we had readily available community domestic waste skips too for large items (the Health and Safety Executive decided they were unsafe so they are only open occasionally now and have to be manned). I also know many people who refused to have anything to do with recycling and just put everything in their landfill bin. There isn't any easy solution to any of these problems Helen and I'm not advocating the removal of wheelie bins (I personally think it's great having everything collected from my door) nor the lessening of recycling efforts. I do think, though, that we have a rather ambivalent attitude as a country to our refuse in general. Apart from anything else we produce far too much of it.

      Delete
    2. I couldn't agree more GB - we definitely produce far too much waste. We've spent countless hours this year freecycling things that we no longer need - at the time it seems like a hassle, but from an environmental perspective it's well worth it.

      Delete
    3. We don't produce the waste the retailers and manufacturers do.
      I grew up in a family of seven, the hens used to have mash and only at Christmas do I remember the bin being full. Even we, as children, used to recycle such mundane objects as toilet roll inners. Blue Peter gave us inspiration.
      Nothing came bubble wrapped and bottles had a deposit. Jam jars didn't but then mum half made jam and pickles so they lasted for years. Kilner Jars....the rubber ring went after a while but they supplied new ones. The hours we spent as children doing boring jobs like top and tailing, scalding out old jars, slicing beans and salting them.

      The good old days? No. Times change and it's why we have government and not anarchy. The trouble is and always has been that anyone who desires to be a governor or a social worker. Thinks far too much of themselves and little about the job. What's sad is that they think they know what they are doing.

      Where am I at.....ranting on your blog when I have one of my own? Silly me!

      Delete
  3. You already know how I feel about bins outside the house....
    This week my neighbour lost his bin to the garbage guys who threw it back so hard, it crashed and burned. He now has to get a new bin.
    Loved the second photo...very picturesque.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still trying to envisage a bin bursting into flames Virginia.

      Delete
    2. Awwwww....you kill me GB!!!

      Delete
  4. Gorgeous house! Lucky you had the second option to show it without the bins!!
    In Australia, each home, including those on large properties, are only allowed 2 bins (one for waste and one for recycling). It's been very successful since it's introduction many years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liz I'd struggle with two bins. At present I have a landfill waste bin (I think that's a common factor everywhere) emptied fortnightly. I also have two recycling bins (one for glass and one for everything else) emptied every four weeks and that could, presumably, be reduced to one. The last bin is the one I use most: the organic and garden rubbish bin which is also emptied fortnightly. I compost everything that I can but my garden produces far too much to compost it all.

      Delete
  5. There's three flats in the house where I live: mine in the middle, one rented out on the ground floor and another owner and his wife on the top floor. We share three wheelie bins: one for glass and plastic, one for paper and one for everything else. Thankfully, we have enough space at the back of the house to park our bins, and when it's time to have them emptied, we can easily get them out to the road at the front of the house and back again. All very well organized, neat and tidy, just how I like it :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That organisation really appeals to me too Meike.

      Delete
  6. OH! I remember seeing someone solve this problem in Eastbourne. The wheelie bins were in the front of their house but they were covered in an ivy patterned paper (or plastic, I don't know) and it perfectly matched the greenery behind the bins! I thought that was so clever, it was a good camouflage.
    (Our son used to say "bin" for "garbage can" when he was a little boy and my friends didn't know what he was talking about when he was at their house without me!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. The second photo is gorgeous, GB. One of my favourite photos, which I enlarged and framed to hang on the wall in my hallway, is of a wicker gate, with a sunlit garden and delphiniums behind. I also had to do some "fancy dancing" to get a view which kept the bright blue wheelie bin to a minimum so that it could be cropped out later. But it was worth it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol I could have moved these but fortuitously I could get a better shot from an angle without them. There were a lot of shots of other things I just didn't bother to take because of the number of bins in the picture.

      Delete
  8. Here house-owners usually have only one wheelie bin that gets collected, and recycling stuff we have to take away ourselves. On the housing estate where I live there is a small wooden shed outside each block of flats for wheelie bins (you throw your bags in through a little flap door and they land in the bins); and one recycling station for newspapers/cardboard/plastic/glass for the whole estate. Anything bigger or hazardous etc has to be taken to what I assume you mean by civic amenity sites (only two in the whole city). We too have the problem of some people just leaving such things by the local recycling dumpsters though...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Monica if you don't make it easy for people to recycle then many people just will not do so.

      Delete
  9. I like the fact that you labelled this post - Rubbish! I too have suffered the wheelie bins in the picture phenomenon.
    You mentioned the déchèterie (called in the UK a civic amenity site). I would have just called it the tip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The déchèterie is a recycling centre CJ. They seem to be quite common in France. I'm not sure about the cities but one sees déchèterie signs in or near most small towns and many larger villages.

      Delete