Bin there, spied that…

Rubbish is forever making the news these days, one way or another, back in the Asylum.

In Islington, the spies have been out and about, rummaging through the bins in 53 streets. The area in question is where the likes of the Lord Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, numerous High Court and Appeal Court judges and a host of famous personalities live.

It all came to light after someone filed a Freedom of Information request was sent to Islington Council asking if it had undertaken any kind of survey of people’s bins in the past five years.

Back came the answer. Yes. In 2004 and 2005. Some 1,000 households had their bins secretly searched and inspected. According to the Council, the purpose was to ‘investigate the composition’ of a representative sample of household waste in order to help with ‘waste collection and disposal strategy decisions’.

No permission was asked from any of the residents as the Council said they didn’t need permission to carry out their ‘survey’.

The Council went on to add that ‘The operatives involved in the sorting were waste professionals acting under a strict code of conduct which included the possibility of finding items of a personal nature such as confidential paperwork.’ Such investigations are intended to see what rubbish is being sent to landfills and how much more could be recycled and the Council does not consider it snooping.

Be that as it may, there were an awful lot of unhappy bunnies in Islington after this became public knowledge….

Anyone curious about weird and wonderful council strategies could do worse than check out an alleged common denominator, a training organisation called Common Purpose….

Meawhile, thanks to Ron for sharing this next bit of nonsense.

Dustmen, refuse disposal operatives or whatever today’s phrase happens to be, in Kirklees decided to go on strike. The strike coincided with the fortnightly rubbish collection in the area and that meant that residents had to wait to get their bins emptied. Or not.

The strike ended and father of four Stephen Walton was looking forward to getting his mountain of rubbish removed. However, the binmen came and went, leaving his bin on the street. Mr Walton called the Council and was told that as his bin would not close (surprise, surprise), the operatives were under strict instructions not to empty it.

Mr Walton pointed out that the only reason it would not close was because the binmen were on strike, but his complaints fell on deaf ears. It is thought that many people are in for a surprise when the next regular collection occurs because, after one month between collections, many are going to be overfull and will therefore not be emptied.

Around 20,000 homes in the Kirklees area have fortnightly rubbish collections. And these days you have to be careful. In April, Gareth Corkhill, from Whitehaven, West Cumbria, ended up with a criminal record after the lid of his jam-packed wheelie bin was left 4in ajar.

Many local authorities are going over to fortnightly rubbish collection, ostensibly to increase recycling. Or is it to cut costs to pay for the bin police, bin spies and the like!!!

What’s with this fortnightly collection lark anyway. Surely, particularly with large familes, it must pose a potential health hazard. Here’s a radical idea. Get rid of the bin police, bin spies, administrators, analysts and researchers, and use the money to provide the kind of service people would expect with regard to the levels of Council Tax currently being levied. In other words, empty rubbish bins on a daily basis.

I know it smacks a bit of actually getting the kind of service you are being charged for, so not much chance of it happening.

And another thought. Fly-tipping is becoming a serious problem in some areas of the UK, but is that surprising when people are likely to get a criminal record if their bin lid won’t close? You’ll never eliminate fly-tipping, of course, some people love to just dump their rubbish for some strange reason.

Even in Nerja, where rubbish collection is daily, there is a tip to dump unwanted articles and a simple phone call will result in the Council picking up any large items free of charge, there are still an awful lot of people who go to the effort and trouble of dumping rubbish in the countryside or on the edge of town. Takes far more effort, but they still do it and on an alarmingly regular basis.

Sometimes you just can’t win…

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