It would seem that the loonies are having a whale of a time at the moment and on all fronts.
Litter, and rubbish collection in general, have been high on the agenda in recent weeks, what with people being prosecuted and fined for letting go of helium-filled balloons, dropping sausage roll crumbs and other serious crimes as councils adopt a zero tolerance approach to the subject.
It would now seem that one in five wheelie bins are microchipped or otherwise marked in preparation for ‘pay-as-you-throw’ bin taxes! Microchips or labels that can be read on dustcarts are key component of bin tax schemes which rely on weighing or measuring the rubbish put out by a home in order to sent the right bill to the right family.
The rules and regulations relating to bins are also becoming more strict in many areas and enforcement of regulations is becoming tighter. A bus driver in Cumbria now has a criminal record because his family left their bin lid open a few inches and a 96 year old war veteran in Norwich had his collections stopped because he put a ketchup bottle in the wrong bin.
Reason or perspective doesn’t seem to count for much at the moment. At the same time as enforcing stricter rules, rubbish collection is, in many areas, being revised from weekly to fortnightly. Now that makes sense. Well, it does if you want to increase funds. Guarantees loads of people will have no option but to overfill their bins. Unless they put it in the garden (fly-tipping, but a lower fine) or keep it in the house (public health violation). Got ’em every which way.
More and more ‘bin police’ are being recruited and Peterborough Council for one is paying 35 pounds commission to the bin police for every person they ‘book’. Not a bad job, eh, and you get a free bullet-proof jacket into the bargain!
Not only that, but the latest edict from binmen is that unless your bin can be pulled using only two fingers, it won’t be emptied! Although this is not official council policy anywhere, some do admit that the ‘two-finger test’ is being used by operatives to determine the weight of the bin.
This unofficial policy resulted in a 79 year old woman having to drag a 360 litre wheelie bin half a mile in order to get it emptied! Other people now have to transport the bins themselves as they are deemed too heavy and are being labeled ‘too heavy to move’. The reason for the two-finger approach is given as ‘health and safety’. So now you even have to pay not to have your bin emptied!