Oh the humanity!
Our local paper, the Express & Star, have scarcely hidden their disdain for the scheme. The E&S use the term slop buckets for the food caddies, make no secret of their opinion that the number of bins that Wolverhampton residents have to wrestle with is nothing short of scandalous and, if they’re position on this issue is anything to go on, live in tiny little studio flats with no more room for the many bins.
If I’m honest with you, I don’t have a problem with the rubbish collection and the recycling methods employed by the council. There is no getting around the fact that rubbish has to go somewhere and if some of it can be put to good use elsewhere, then separating it from contaminants at the end of it’s domestically useful life makes sense.
When I lived in Yeovil back in 2005, food bins and recycling bins were introduced by the council. At the same time, the tips introduced their policy of having separate skips for the separate types of waste the general public would bring.
All very sensible and laudable but for one thing; the council's attitude.
The residents were more than happy to do their bit but for some reason the council felt that the stick was a more effective form of encouragement. If you weren’t sure where to put things at the tip and had the temerity to ask one of the men working there, they were rather rude. If you were caught throwing food out with your normal rubbish then you would be fined.
This got very old extremely quickly and the council found themselves on the end of a backlash. To give South Somerset District Council their due, they quickly sorted out their attitude and happy recycling and whatnot swept across the region.
Or something like that. I moved to Wolves in 2006 and when I did live in Yeovil I was three parts plastered most of the time.
These days, my council tax is paid to Wolverhampton City Council and they do many weird and wonderful things with that money. One of the things they do that I really don’t agree with is pander to the stupid.
About £75,000 is to be spent next year telling Wolverhampton residents not to put the “wrong” type of rubbish in wheelie bins.
A “communications plan” — including putting stickers on bins — comes on top of almost £70,000 already spent for promoting recycling food waste in slop buckets.
I’m perfectly happy to sort my rubbish out into five different receptacles. I don’t need a glossy pamphlet printed in 5 different languages to tell me how.
I understand that it is essential that the lines of communication between the civil authorities and the public are kept open, take this situation for example.
To save you a click through, what happened was this: When the trees shed their leaves in the street, some civic minded souls swept these leaves up and put them into their green wheelie bin for recycling. All very laudable. The thing is though, these leaves can't be accepted for recycling because they are probably contaminated by being on the road. Instead of saying to the residents "That's really very good of you but there's a slight problem" and explaining it in civil terms, the council went with a pompous attitude and threatened fines.
After reading that, does anyone else feel the whole thing could have been handled without hassle or even without the threat of a £1000 fine? I certainly do and it could also be done without flexing the imaginary muscles of a media studies graduate. Seriously, stickers for bins?
The communiqués feel like one-way traffic most of the time and I don’t like being patted on the head by someone who designs needless leaflets with my money. I don’t need a sticker to remind me what rubbish goes in what bin.
As for those that do need the bright colours and easy to understand instructions on how to use a bin... Well, don’t give them stickers, give them condoms.