I understand the point of recycling. I really do. Some things can be taken, broken down, and reused, and for a profit. It’s a brilliant idea. You could opt in if you wanted to, either to minimise your wastage or to save Gaia. Or because you liked the sound it made when you started an avalanche inside the bottle bin1.
Of course, government being government, that’s not where it stopped. Now you are forced into recycling, and you’re often forced into sorting it, and the list of things to be recycled includes many things that aren’t profitable to recycle.
I must say, where we’re living it isn’t to bad. You get a small refuse bin and a large general recycling bin. Yes, the order is the wrong way round but we have simple needs and we have a large enough driveway to store both. Back in Belfast, it was slightly more complicated: three bins, and only a very small yard to store them in. Honestly, when the local spides set fire to the garden recycling bin, I wasn’t exactly disappointed – there was now room in the yard to turn around.
But it could still be worse: Newcastle apparently has nine separate containers, which is just mental. I can’t even think of nine different classes of recycling, let alone where to store nine containers.
One quote I particularly dislike:
Trevor Nicoll, head of recycling and fleet services at Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said the local authority had launched an improved recycling and waste service and saved £500,000.
“Residents choose to what extent they recycle, if at all, but they have embraced it as rates have shot up from 27% to 50%,” he said.
They have embraced it? I’m sure they have, but dude is forgetting to mention the sticks hanging over people: the bin wardens with little red tags and the prospect of non-compliant bins hanging round for an extra week stinking the place up. Which just makes a community feel that much more friendly, don’t it…