Is nine different receptacles for household waste and recycling too many? Newcastle-under-Lyme Council seem to think not but some of their residents disagree.
Waste collection regimes are a very sensitive issue and are the responsibility of the council which is the local waste collection authority. This is an area of local government where autonomy is fiercely guarded by councils and even the London Waste and Recycling Board doesn’t try to dictate to boroughs as to how and how often they collect their residents’ bins.
There is a balance to be struck. The better segregated the waste the more effectively, efficiently and economically it can be treated, the more bins bags and boxes the more hassle and the more people are put off. Where the sweet-spot lies I do not know and I doubt that it will be the same for all parts of the country.
What I do know is that sending untreated waste to landfill is not a sustainable solution in either ecological or economic terms as the European landfill tax increases. We might all have to get used to a bit more hassle when we take the bins out but if we don’t we will be find that our council tax bills increase dramatically.