Saturday 20 April 2019

PhD in rubbish

One point which always puzzles me is why local authorities make the process of rubbish disposal and recycling so complex for the average householder. The schemes seem to differ between adjoining boroughs. It is even worse for us, because  in our self catering holiday cottage we have different guests every week and getting them to dispose of the rubbish within the rules on the right day is a bit of a nightmare.

In our case the council treat our cottage as a business premises. We can either contract with a private waste disposal firm or pre-buy specially marked green trade waste bags. These bags cost about 60 pence each. They are collected twice weekly early in the morning from the street close to the front of the cottage. There's no published schedule of collections for the trade waste bags, so we can't leave it in our Cottage Visitor's Manual. We have to remember to tell our guests in advance, and get them to put the bags out the night before, otherwise they'll miss the collection. If they miss the collection it is another two weeks before a general trade waste collection takes place.

The council do collect a food waste bin, for composting, once a week on a Tuesday excepting Bank Holiday weeks when it is a different day. There's a special small bin for that purpose, but the food waste must be in special biodegradable bags. Our guests usually forget to put this bin out, and when they do it frequently "goes walkies" from the street during the day.

The council also collect recycling, every other week, even from those places classed as businesses. The recycling bin has a detachable inner bin. This inner bin is used to hold paper and card, but not shredded paper, the paper must not be bagged or taped. The main bin is for metal cans, plastics and glass, but not sheet/film plastic, nor expanded foam plastic. Broken glass or window glass should not be put into the recycling bin.Scrap household appliances should not be put into recycling, but separate disposal arranged. Batteries should not be put into general waste nor the recycling bin. No rubble, sand or decorators material should be in general waste or recycling.

Separate arrangements exist for garden waste collection and also any medical waste.

The rules are different in adjoining boroughs and the bin colours are different for the various types of waste.

Now all we have to do is get strangers, who just want to be on holiday to follow those rules!

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