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Rob R

Why do we expect our rubbish to be collected?

Given that we are quite capable of transporting all this rubbish into our homes, why do we expect a bin wagon to come to our door and pick it up? Confused If shopping centres has waste collection points we could return all the junk when we're on our way to buy more and save a whole lot of money and fuel making regular collections.
mochyn

Where my folks live in SW Ireland they don't. Dad takes it all to the dump when he needs to. Seems to work fine.

We have to take ours to the end of the lane: about half a mile.

ETA thanks for reminding me: it's bin day! Laughing
Green Rosie

Interesting point - I used to argue the same this on a NT site I worked on that had a litter issue, mostly caused by picnickers leaving their rubbish behind. Have more to write but I must get the boys to school ....
gz

When my father was warden of Wilderhope Manor youth hostel, which is also a National Trust property, rubbish collections were once a month.
Green Rosie

... boys delivered.

I do wonder though how much more litter and fly tipping there would be if collections stopped?

Does anyone know when collections first started? What happened before then (although I realise that this was very much pre the packaging and wasteful society that we now live in).
mochyn

When my father was warden of Wilderhope Manor youth hostel, which is also a National Trust property, rubbish collections were once a month.


Ooh: I stayed at Wilderhope once! Lovely place.

Rosie: we have two dumps on our land: one from the first part of the 20thC and earlier and one from the second half. Full of bottles, broken china, bits of metal... That's clearly what happened here!
Jamanda

It would be doable if you have space to store rubbish and a way of getting to the tip. Less so if you live in a small house in a city.
Brownbear

I think it was part of the great sanitary cleanup of the Victorian age, a way of ridding the cities of disease. Imagine the piles of filth that would build up if people had to do their own rubbish dump runs, and the tens of millions of disease-ridden rats that would feast on the bounty of idleness.

A 'refuse police' that would ensure lazy gits didn't just let it pile up in the back yards, would probably cost as much or more than the collections.
gz

1388 England English Parliament bars waste disposal in public waterways and ditches.

1820's London, England Almost 100% of the waste collected by "dust-men" is recycled/recovered/reused through manual separation and sieving in "dust-yards", the main product being the fine fraction of coal-ash, remaining after coal burning in households ("dust").[4] The system had many similarities to informal sector recycling, prevailing in today's environmentally developing countries.
8 1842 England Edwin Chadwick's Report of an Inquiry into the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain linked disease to filthy environmental conditions. The "age of sanitation" begins.
9 1874 Nottingham England A new technology called "The Destructor", patented by Albert Fryer and built by Manlove, Alliott & Co. Ltd., provides the first systematic incineration of refuse in Nottingham, England. Until this time, much of the burning had been incidental, a result of methane production.

Turn of the 20th century Waste problem seen as one of the greatest problems facing local authorities.

Thanks Wikipedia! Cool
Rob R

If collection points were near/at retail centres perhaps it would have more of a joined up effect. Given the provision of council tips round here I can't understand why people fly tip at all - some even drive past a tip to fly tip. Confused

In the old days I guess there was more of a culture of returns and even rewards for reusable packaging. Here is an interesting history of waste.
Went

Here in Spain we have communal bins in the village where you take your rubbish as and when required, the same happens with recylcing. In our village of about 30 people we have at least 4 collection points dotted around. They empty the communal rubbish every two days and the recycling about once per fortnight. Works well.
Bulgarianlily

Surely it is better for the environment for one special wagon to make the journey than everyone in cars? And what about those without cars?

The only things that used to be collected were 'dust' i.e. ash, cinders metal etc. Think of the sorted dust heaps of the 'golden dustman' Mr Boffin in Our Mutual Friend that were value enought to be left to him in a will.
http://u.cc.utah.edu/~tsk2/omfpage.html
Rob R

When my father was warden of Wilderhope Manor youth hostel, which is also a National Trust property, rubbish collections were once a month.


Ooh: I stayed at Wilderhope once! Lovely place.

Rosie: we have two dumps on our land: one from the first part of the 20thC and earlier and one from the second half. Full of bottles, broken china, bits of metal... That's clearly what happened here!

Show an archaeologist a refuse dump and they'll wet themselves with excitement... Laughing

When we dug the small field pond out we found some interesting bottles, as well as the remains of a bonfire.
Rob R

Surely it is better for the environment for one special wagon to make the journey than everyone in cars? And what about those without cars?

Only if that same bin wagon delivers your groceries and packaged goods - people manage very well to ship all this crap into their homes without outside help, if you return it on those same journies it is much more efficient than running a bin wagon- it comes to us every week, and we put the bin out every month so three times out of four they are picking up nothing.
mochyn

Show an archaeologist a refuse dump and they'll wet themselves with excitement... Laughing

We often find pop bottles in good condition with local names on. They're quite exciting in a peculiar sort of way!
marigold



The only things that used to be collected were 'dust' i.e. ash, cinders metal etc. Think of the sorted dust heaps of the 'golden dustman' Mr Boffin in Our Mutual Friend that were value enought to be left to him in a will.
http://u.cc.utah.edu/~tsk2/omfpage.html

You beat me to it - an A Level text for me. I might read it again...

"Night soil" was also collected in cities. And spread on surrounding market gardens, I believe. Waste not, want not Wink
Rob R

I found one from the "Titbits sauce co", not been able to find out much about it, though. mochyn

Last week the old chap found a bottle from the R Evans Aerated Water Works Llanfyllin. I'd love to know where it was sited (the works, not the bottle). alison



The only things that used to be collected were 'dust' i.e. ash, cinders metal etc. Think of the sorted dust heaps of the 'golden dustman' Mr Boffin in Our Mutual Friend that were value enought to be left to him in a will.
http://u.cc.utah.edu/~tsk2/omfpage.html

You beat me to it - an A Level text for me. I might read it again...

"Night soil" was also collected in cities. And spread on surrounding market gardens, I believe. Waste not, want not Wink

I think that the pits were also scraped to make salt peter, but I am unsure of the process this took.
Bulgarianlily

I think salt petre came from manure. You could scrap it off the walls of our old barn that had been used for cows for centuries.

Our Mutual Friend is a damn good read. I usually re-read most of Dickens by the fire in the winter, and it is the book most packed with action and suspense. The scenes in the lockhouse towards the end of the book is breathtaking (to me!).
paul1963

Surely the short answer is because we pay for it to be collected through our council tax.

I'm all in favour of minimising rubbish and I suspect the majority of DSers put out far less than the average (iirc another thread asked this and most of you put out next to nought if anything at all).

If rubbish collections were to cease would the amounts of household rubbish decrease? I suspect it might, but there will always be the scumbags who'll dump their stuff all over other peoples property etc.
Green Rosie

Surely it is better for the environment for one special wagon to make the journey than everyone in cars? And what about those without cars?

Only if that same bin wagon delivers your groceries and packaged goods - people manage very well to ship all this crap into their homes without outside help, if you return it on those same journies it is much more efficient than running a bin wagon- it comes to us every week, and we put the bin out every month so three times out of four they are picking up nothing.

I am sure I read once that the environmental damage caused by bin lorries is massive because they are huge vehicles that crawl along stopping and starting all the time. I seem to remember reading that they cause a lot of damage to road surfaces which are not designed to take such heavy vehicles and the cost of running them (and the very frequent tyre changes they need) is very high.
paul1963

Surely it is better for the environment for one special wagon to make the journey than everyone in cars? And what about those without cars?

Only if that same bin wagon delivers your groceries and packaged goods - people manage very well to ship all this crap into their homes without outside help, if you return it on those same journies it is much more efficient than running a bin wagon- it comes to us every week, and we put the bin out every month so three times out of four they are picking up nothing.

I am sure I read once that the environmental damage caused by bin lorries is massive because they are huge vehicles that crawl along stopping and starting all the time. I seem to remember reading that they cause a lot of damage to road surfaces which are not designed to take such heavy vehicles and the cost of running them (and the very frequent tyre changes they need) is very high.

You're absolutely right on this. Former FIL ran a fleet of them some years back and I used to hear about it chapter and verse.

If packaging were to be reduced, waste would be reduced accordingly.
Green Rosie

Here in Spain we have communal bins in the village where you take your rubbish as and when required, the same happens with recylcing. In our village of about 30 people we have at least 4 collection points dotted around. They empty the communal rubbish every two days and the recycling about once per fortnight. Works well.

I think that sounds like a brilliant idea - we have the same for recycling - every small village and at other spots in between villages there are recycling bins and only some communes have doorstep recycling collection. I would however be very interested to know how the rate of recycling varies between this type of collection and doorstep collection.
marigold


Our Mutual Friend is a damn good read. I usually re-read most of Dickens by the fire in the winter, and it is the book most packed with action and suspense. The scenes in the lockhouse towards the end of the book is breathtaking (to me!).

I've never actually read it as a book. Reading it as a set text was a most unpleasant experience which turned me right off Dickens. Gawd knows why I thought that the fact that I loved reading meant that it was a good idea to do English A Level! Not that I got the A Level in the end...
Bernie66

Relying on the general public to dispose of their own waste in this way sadly wouldn't work- a tax based on waste quantity wouldn't either. Fly tipping etc would increase, guaranteed.
Maybe some form of "excess packaging" tax or "unrecycleable packaging" tax is the way instead. And also a demand on the place of sale of a product being able to recycle back their packaging type.
Re-useable rather than recycleable is probably a better target though.
marigold

Talking of night soil and rubbish collections - there would be a lot less waste to collect if disposable nappies and sanitary towels were banned. Barefoot Andrew

All the problems raised above are worthy points, but I like Rob's idea and it could work for me.

I already take all my recycling to Sainsbury's anyway and yes, it does build up sometimes, leaving me wondering where to store it. Without much effort or inconvenience I could dispose of my one small rubbish bag per week similarly.

A.
Bulgarianlily

Sadly there is as yet no formal recycling here in Bulgaria, other than the highly organised Roma horse and cartmen. All villages have lidded skips with folding metal doors on the top, which are emptied by the local authorities, but only on to land dumps where the plastic gets blow by the wind into the nearest water course. It is no hardship to walk to the nearest skip with rubbish. For a village of 250 people there are three skips, each near a water spring where drinking water is collected. marigold

All the problems raised above are worthy points, but I like Rob's idea and it could work for me.

I already take all my recycling to Sainsbury's anyway and yes, it does build up sometimes, leaving me wondering where to store it. Without much effort or inconvenience I could dispose of my one small rubbish bag per week similarly.

A.

Personally I don't fancy having a rubbish tip next to the place where I buy my food. I too only generate a small bag or two per week (mostly clean plastic), but my neighbours with kids generate overflowing bins of rubbish which stinks and seethes in hot weather. You'd need a constant flow of lorries in and out of the collection place to remove the stuff which would cause all sorts of logistical problems.

IMO the key to the problem is in reducing the amount of stuff that is bought to be thrown away.
catbaffler

There was a small recycling bay on the edge of our estate but, following complaints from the residents of some of the houses that overlook it about it being a eyesore, mainly due to infrequent emptying plus the nocturnal dumping of unwanted furniture. The solution? - Rather keep tabs on the illegal dumping and emptying the recycling containers more frequently the entire facility has recently been removed!!!

Food waste recycling has just been introduced and communal recepticles for said waste installed in the refuse bays alongside the giant wheelie bins for general household rubbish. However collection of household waste is now fortnightly... I went to deposit some vegetable peelings, etc., in one of the food waste bins but was unable as a fortnight's worth of black bags, many of which clearly contained the recyclable stuff that would previously have gone into the recycling bins - AAARGH! Mad
Mrs R

I wouldn't envisage it being a rubbish tip - just like existing recycling places, but simply with an extra bin for 'general' waste. We're already separating out compostable stuff, metal, glass and some plastics - there's not a great deal left.

Stupidly, council tips are banning people going in with vans, and charging you to put stuff in. They MUST NOT do that, as nobody cares, they just go dump it somewhere else Rolling Eyes The gypsies in gainsborough made a good living being paid to remove rubbish the council couldn't take, and simply leaving it in laybys, so the council had to make special trips out to collect it anyway...

We do pay for rubbish to be collected, but I would be happy to pay the same rate and take the remainder of my rubbish to the recycling, as councils have to make savings somewhere, this will surely help.

Pensioners and the disabled etc perhaps could get a service similar to a bin lorry, but on a smaller scale and ringing up when needed, rather than run on a timetable.
Treacodactyl

IMO the key to the problem is in reducing the amount of stuff that is bought to be thrown away.

Indeed, and then perhaps smaller more efficient vehicles could be used to collect it. It's sad to see so many people still not recycling round here especially as they tend to be the same people who put out vast piles of rubbish each week. Confused It's also sad to say I can't think of anything that's been done to try and get those people to recycle, heaven forbid getting them to actually reduce waste.
Green Rosie

Stupidly, council tips are banning people going in with vans, and charging you to put stuff in. They MUST NOT do that, as nobody cares, they just go dump it somewhere else Rolling Eyes

I agree. In the UK we had a van and a land rover neither of which was allowed into the tip even when it was our household rubbish that we wanted to recycle/dump.

Not that we fly tipped it I hasten to add.
Mrs R

of course, waste reduction is always a great help, even to the current system! I don't see that as a reason why this would fail though. cab

If collection points were near/at retail centres perhaps it would have more of a joined up effect. Given the provision of council tips round here I can't understand why people fly tip at all - some even drive past a tip to fly tip. Confused

In the old days I guess there was more of a culture of returns and even rewards for reusable packaging. Here is an interesting history of waste.

We used to have a neighbour who didn't deal with her families waste. She had two big black wheelie bins, a recycling bin, and a composting bin, but she couldn't manage. Too stupid. I don't mean to sound abusive here, and I should point out that there was no evidence of any kind of mental disability in her or her family, she was just thick, unpleasant, and nasty.

Rather than take the recycling to any of the three or four recycling points within a stones throw of home (literally, if one of our other neighbours houses wasn't there, you could probably have landed a brick in one of the recycling points from her front door), rather than fly tip it, rather than use the ample bins she had effectively, she'd pile the waste up in bin bags in the garden. Of course a mountain of two dozen bin bags or more, containing junk food rotting down, disposable nappies and goodness knows what else, would start to seep. And it attracted beasties. And it was bloody awful.

Waste collections barely manage to stop the worst offenders from turning our streets into open sewers filled with the worst kind of stinking refuse. Imagine what would happen if we didn't have those collections.
Mrs R

There's always going to be people like that, the example you provided proves that even under the current system, they still manage it. That doesn't strike me as a reason to never change? We'd just have to kick their asses more, and accept that some will always be that way, because they're nobbers. Nobberism will never be completely eradicated. darkbrowneggs

It was quite a novelty here when the council introduced a bin service I think around 1961-62. Before then everybody just dumped what they didn't need round the place, but there wasn't that much because any dried fruit type stuff or biscuits were weighed into paper bags, and potatoes were tipped loose in the bottom of the shopping bag or bought by the bag and stored at home.

Carrier bags of any description were pretty well unheard of. Tea was made into a little packet and neatly tied with string. Sugar weighed into blue paper bags. Bottles all had deposits on and jam jars had many years of recycling in the home ahead of them.

We had our own personal rubbish tip in the shrubbery which had been used for many many years, and as children we dug out oystershells, ink pots and white china Dundee Marmalade jars. Although I had it bulldozed out it still yields bits, just this week a shard of 18th C china emerged. The largest thing I found was a wheelbarrow Shocked

I follow the old ways with the exception I now take it to the recycling depot (when I am going that way) and since the council introduced a recycling bin some time last year, not only have I put nothing out, I have not produced one bag of waste for them to take either.

all the best
Sue
Dee J

For the fortunate among us... myself included, with land to grow food and keep animals, space to compost, a Rayburn to incinerate stuff, good health and a means of transport... organised waste collection is a luxury we could currently cope without...

But for someone without those priveledges, life can be difficult. If you live in a densely crowded urban area, with no outside space, waste management can be a real problem - especially with food waste and food contaminated packaging waste. I wouldn't fancy trying to carry a weeks worth of a families waste to the supermarket prior to shopping - especially if its been festering in a warm bin all week!

Counting my blessings

Dee
cab

There's always going to be people like that, the example you provided proves that even under the current system, they still manage it. That doesn't strike me as a reason to never change? We'd just have to kick their asses more, and accept that some will always be that way, because they're nobbers. Nobberism will never be completely eradicated.

Think of it as a bell curve; the people I described are way at one end. If we shift the line on the bell curve where more people will be likely to act like gits, the likelyhood is that we get a lot more people who won't handle their own waste. As we're not going to kick their asses for not dealing with their own waste (really, ain't going to happen), we'd be left with an awful mess.
toggle

1842 England Edwin Chadwick's Report of an Inquiry into the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain linked disease to filthy environmental conditions. The "age of sanitation" begins. )

ty. for the reminder need to grab a copy of that
Rob R

All the problems raised above are worthy points, but I like Rob's idea and it could work for me.

I already take all my recycling to Sainsbury's anyway and yes, it does build up sometimes, leaving me wondering where to store it. Without much effort or inconvenience I could dispose of my one small rubbish bag per week similarly.

A.

Personally I don't fancy having a rubbish tip next to the place where I buy my food. I too only generate a small bag or two per week (mostly clean plastic), but my neighbours with kids generate overflowing bins of rubbish which stinks and seethes in hot weather. You'd need a constant flow of lorries in and out of the collection place to remove the stuff which would cause all sorts of logistical problems.

Why logistical problems? The same as most people go to supermarkets with an empty car so too do delivery lorries leave with empty trailers. I know some take waste cardboard and pallets back with them. Supermarkets and most shops are already delivered to by large lorries, so access shouldn't be a problem at all.
Rob R

I wouldn't fancy trying to carry a weeks worth of a families waste to the supermarket prior to shopping - especially if its been festering in a warm bin all week!

That's kind of the point I was trying to make- you're not supposed to like it (or even go to the supermarket, for that matter Wink). People don't want to carry their food and packaged goods home, but they do it.

All these comparisons with history are kind of missing the point too - never should we revert to how it used to be, but look for ways to improve with the technology and knowledge we have gained since. The provision must still be there to deal with waste and other ways of incentivising less waste. We could start by sacking food hygiene inspectors who think the best way to solve food hygiene problems is to wrap everything in plastic. Twisted Evil
cab


Why logistical problems? The same as most people go to supermarkets with an empty car so too do delivery lorries leave with empty trailers. I know some take waste cardboard and pallets back with them. Supermarkets and most shops are already delivered to by large lorries, so access shouldn't be a problem at all.

All my shopping is done by bike. I don't relish the thought of riding back to the shop with a rucksack full of compostables.

Better to reduce the amount of carp people buy IMHO. Why the heck do so many people need a whole car load of over-packaged junk every week?
robkb

All my shopping is done by bike. I don't relish the thought of riding back to the shop with a rucksack full of compostables.

My thoughts too. I shop by car (a family of four's weekly shop doesn't fit in a rucksack!!) and don't really fancy filling my boot with last week's rubbish before refilling it with this week's food. Rob's comment about the possibility of rubbish collections and food deliveries being made by the same vehicle is a good idea in principle but would you really be happy with trash and food being stored in the same truck?

And it's completely impracticable in a built-up area - my road has roughly 300 houses in it, and is one of about 20 roads that the dustcart goes to on a Thursday morning. The truck to deliver food to 6000 houses would be so big it wouldn't fit down the roads. And you'd need to wait for the delivery depending on where you are on the route - sometimes our bins get emptied at 6am, but if the route gets reversed it's more like 1pm.
Mrs R

There's always going to be people like that, the example you provided proves that even under the current system, they still manage it. That doesn't strike me as a reason to never change? We'd just have to kick their asses more, and accept that some will always be that way, because they're nobbers. Nobberism will never be completely eradicated.

Think of it as a bell curve; the people I described are way at one end. If we shift the line on the bell curve where more people will be likely to act like gits, the likelyhood is that we get a lot more people who won't handle their own waste. As we're not going to kick their asses for not dealing with their own waste (really, ain't going to happen), we'd be left with an awful mess.

I disagree - I don't see where the evidence is that we wouldn't be kicking asses? I also don't see any evidence suggesting that more people would act in a nobberish way than already do.
Mrs R


And it's completely impracticable in a built-up area - my road has roughly 300 houses in it, and is one of about 20 roads that the dustcart goes to on a Thursday morning. The truck to deliver food to 6000 houses would be so big it wouldn't fit down the roads. And you'd need to wait for the delivery depending on where you are on the route - sometimes our bins get emptied at 6am, but if the route gets reversed it's more like 1pm.

I think the whole idea was to cut the lorry use - the collection mechanism should be the same as the delivery mechanism - we cart everything we need to our houses ourselves, why don't we cart everything away again, too? If you can pick up your shopping by bike, you can transport your rubbish by bike, as you've taken the food and liquid out. Bear in mind it's with anything recyclable or compostable out, and if you had something minging - seal it in a clean-on-the-outside bag?
madcat

I get a number of van permits issued and have to request more if I run out.I get subjected to the third degree if the operatives at the tip are having a bad day or just fancy picking on somebody.Thats been the end of my free taking stuff to the tip for elderly neighbours service,I used to drop stuff off on my way shopping as I was passing that way.
Its not easy to rescue handy stuff any more either,Iam not a happy cat about that as you can imagine. Mad Mad Mad
gz

Its impossible here-once inside the gates, the rubbish belongs to the recycling company, despite sympathetic staff Sad
They are under cameras 100% of the time, so can't risk their jobs
Dee J

"Why the heck do so many people need a whole car load of over-packaged junk every week?"

1)Because they hope it makes them feel better and confirm life is worthwhile.

2)Because to a greater or lesser extent we're all(well mostly) good obedient consumers who absorb all the advertising hype and do as we're told. We're all part of the wonderful capitalist consumerist culture - too busy with chasing the next 'must-have' to look up and notice all the wonderful things our government does in our name......

Dee
cab


I disagree - I don't see where the evidence is that we wouldn't be kicking asses? I also don't see any evidence suggesting that more people would act in a nobberish way than already do.

The fact that we don't kick asses for extraordinarily bad waste handling now strongly implies that we're not suddenly going to do any better than this.

As for the bell curve - there are some people who are quite bad at waste, there are some who are very bad. If we make it harder to get rid of waste, are you really saying that you see no likelyhood that more people will struggle to either deal with their refuse or will simply not choose to do so? You've got a higher opinion of your fellow human being than I have.
paul1963

"Why the heck do so many people need a whole car load of over-packaged junk every week?"

1)Because they hope it makes them feel better and confirm life is worthwhile.

2)Because to a greater or lesser extent we're all(well mostly) good obedient consumers who absorb all the advertising hype and do as we're told. We're all part of the wonderful capitalist consumerist culture - too busy with chasing the next 'must-have' to look up and notice all the wonderful things our government does in our name......

Dee

Absolutely, and if people don't wake up to that then we're all going to hell in a handcart before too long...
cab

How much of the whole 'buying too much crap' phenomenon is due to people being able to carry so much home without it having any real inconvenience? I notice that people who are driving everywhere do seem to buy a heck of a lot more than I do per trip.

If we were all restricted to what we could actually carry, would we not be buying a lot less rubbish?
mochyn

How much of the whole 'buying too much crap' phenomenon is due to people being able to carry so much home without it having any real inconvenience? I notice that people who are driving everywhere do seem to buy a heck of a lot more than I do per trip.

If we were all restricted to what we could actually carry, would we not be buying a lot less rubbish?

Yes.
Mrs R


I disagree - I don't see where the evidence is that we wouldn't be kicking asses? I also don't see any evidence suggesting that more people would act in a nobberish way than already do.

The fact that we don't kick asses for extraordinarily bad waste handling now strongly implies that we're not suddenly going to do any better than this.

As for the bell curve - there are some people who are quite bad at waste, there are some who are very bad. If we make it harder to get rid of waste, are you really saying that you see no likelyhood that more people will struggle to either deal with their refuse or will simply not choose to do so? You've got a higher opinion of your fellow human being than I have.

If we got off our bums to completely change the way waste is handled, why would we not divert some of the energy we used to on bin lorries on kicking ass? Why would one thing change but not another?

I think I do have a higher opinion of my fellow human beings I guess - I know few people who would actually live in a stinking midden when it came down to it, rather than add one more bag to the trip to the recycling depot. I don't think getting rid of waste would be 'harder', just different, and yes there'd be a period of switchover where people have to get used to it. As part of the new scheme, help would be given to get it right.

I suppose there's business opportunities to be had - private rubbish collectors. I don't want to get all orangepippin on you guys, but if the default was taking it to the collection point, you'd be free to choose to pay someone else like you might pay someone to clean your house or walk your dog?
paul1963

How much of the whole 'buying too much crap' phenomenon is due to people being able to carry so much home without it having any real inconvenience? I notice that people who are driving everywhere do seem to buy a heck of a lot more than I do per trip.

If we were all restricted to what we could actually carry, would we not be buying a lot less rubbish?

I buy less when I walk as I have to carry it, but wouldn't equate the car with excessive consumerism. It is simply down to greed - if people bought what they needed rather than whatever takes their fancy they would buy a whole lot less.
12Bore


If we were all restricted to what we could actually carry, would we not be buying a lot less rubbish?
Probably, but you'd have very little (or very small) furniture! Laughing
cab


Probably, but you'd have very little (or very small) furniture! Laughing

There are times (quite rare) when we get lifts with massive items or even get things delivered Shocked Smile

But its amazing how much you can carry by bike with a trailer if you really must.
cab


If we got off our bums to completely change the way waste is handled, why would we not divert some of the energy we used to on bin lorries on kicking ass? Why would one thing change but not another?

I think I do have a higher opinion of my fellow human beings I guess - I know few people who would actually live in a stinking midden when it came down to it, rather than add one more bag to the trip to the recycling depot. I don't think getting rid of waste would be 'harder', just different, and yes there'd be a period of switchover where people have to get used to it. As part of the new scheme, help would be given to get it right.

I suppose there's business opportunities to be had - private rubbish collectors. I don't want to get all orangepippin on you guys, but if the default was taking it to the collection point, you'd be free to choose to pay someone else like you might pay someone to clean your house or walk your dog?

Why would changing waste handling mean that offenders get more of a kicking? Why wouldn't that just mean that, as before, same offenders wouldn't just dump the refuse on the street or over a neighbours wall? We'd need an extraordinary change in public and legal attitudes.

Don't get me wrong; when I make an effort and fire up the anaerobic composter with bacteria, I can degrade to the point of burial nearly anything that isn't xenobiotic, and through the summer months I do (I'll be damned if I leave food waste in a council compost bin for up to a fortnight for collection when its warm and maggoty out there). But I've seen just how completely awful people not dealing with their waste is, and I've seen that at present local authorities and the police are light years away from taking that seriously.
robkb

If we were all restricted to what we could actually carry, would we not be buying a lot less rubbish?

Probably not, we'd just go shopping more often Wink .

We're making a concerted effort to only buy what we need at the moment, but a week's shopping for four people is still too much to carry.
robkb

As an aside, the amount of waste some people generate astounds me. Take the guy I work with - he uses a new shrink-wrapped plastic spoon for every single cup of tea or coffee he drinks, even though we have a drawer full of teaspoons in the kitchen. He prints everything and then puts the prints in the bin, even though we have two paper recycling bins within five yards of his desk, and a few moments ago he got a biscuit from the communal biscuit tin and actually wrapped it up in paper towel to walk the couple of feet back to his desk! And then threw the paper towel in the bin!! Aaargghhhh Twisted Evil Mad cab

If we were all restricted to what we could actually carry, would we not be buying a lot less rubbish?

Probably not, we'd just go shopping more often Wink .

We're making a concerted effort to only buy what we need at the moment, but a week's shopping for four people is still too much to carry.

Rather depends how you carry it, I think. I'll bet I could feed four people for a week from a cycle trailer and a rucksack, for example. But then I feel each extra increase in weight, I'm made aware of how much I'm carrying because I'm using my own energy.
Mrs R


Why would changing waste handling mean that offenders get more of a kicking?

But I've seen just how completely awful people not dealing with their waste is, and I've seen that at present local authorities and the police are light years away from taking that seriously.

Why would it not mean they would? We've put effort into changing things to make things better, so why wouldn't we address this side of it too? I don't get the logic.

I've seen how awful people not dealing with rubbish is. I've experienced a manchester apartment block backing up with rubbish in July when the council changed their rota and instead of doing more collections in the changeover, did less, and refused to deal with the issue. If people were responsible for taking their own rubbish away, as they are for doing their washing up, washing their laundry, etc, that would not have arisen at all.
Bernie66

Why do we not hammer supermarkeys and the like for the amount of excess packaging they use? Packaging of the non "Needed" should be taxed to buggery.

Or utilise carrot rather than stick approach.

Can't think how exactly right now but I firmly believe reuse rather than disposeof/recycle should be the first port of call.
cab



Why would it not mean they would?

Largely because the amount of change needed to get there is so massive. At present, you can be pretty sure that you'll get away with it. The police aren't responsible, local authorities don't care, and demonstrating that such refuse poses a public health problem is very hard indeed. Been there, done that, and seen just how entirely useless 'authorities' are at helping.
cab

Or utilise carrot rather than stick approach.

I'd settle for not being beaten with a stick for not going by car and buying masses of carp. So, for example, cheap offers only if I buy multipacks that cannot feasibly be carried without a vehicle. Access to many shops by bike or foot being made so unpleasant by crossings being inaccessible/miles away.

For the most part this is why I avoid supermarkets; I want to buy something and carry it home myself with as little excess packaging as possible. It takes up precious room even in my cavernous ruck sack/pannier bags. I want access by bike to be pleasant. I want to chain up the wheels and walk between places without running into zombie consumers.
Bernie66

Or utilise carrot rather than stick approach.

I'd settle for not being beaten with a stick for not going by car and buying masses of carp. So, for example, cheap offers only if I buy multipacks that cannot feasibly be carried without a vehicle. Access to many shops by bike or foot being made so unpleasant by crossings being inaccessible/miles away.

For the most part this is why I avoid supermarkets; I want to buy something and carry it home myself with as little excess packaging as possible. It takes up precious room even in my cavernous ruck sack/pannier bags. I want access by bike to be pleasant. I want to chain up the wheels and walk between places without running into zombie consumers.

What you'd settle for is irrelevent. You hardly need a nudge to improve your recycling agenda. I'm focussing on the broader society who are a smidge less caring about our planet. (i am not being disrespectful here, I just feel that if everyone was of your thinking I would have less to worry about on the refuse front)
cab


What you'd settle for is irrelevent. You hardly need a nudge to improve your recycling agenda. I'm focussing on the broader society who are a smidge less caring about our planet. (i am not being disrespectful here, I just feel that if everyone was of your thinking I would have less to worry about on the refuse front)

Believe me, I'm focussed on the same thing. We're actively discouraging people from acting the way you and I would like by making that as hard and unpleasant as it frequently is; its not just about incentives to do better, we need also to remove many of the disincentives that are stopping people living better lives.
Bernie66

Tax packaging more. or better still ban some packaging types Mrs R



Why would it not mean they would?

Largely because the amount of change needed to get there is so massive. At present, you can be pretty sure that you'll get away with it. The police aren't responsible, local authorities don't care, and demonstrating that such refuse poses a public health problem is very hard indeed. Been there, done that, and seen just how entirely useless 'authorities' are at helping.

right, but the amount of change needed to implement this scheme woud be 'massive' - if we're going that far in this theoretical situation, why would we not implement a corresponding 'stick' for nobbers, and also hammer the supermarkets about producing the excess packaging etc. in for a penny, in for a pound. For me, that's all part of the new scheme. It'd be senseless to simply switch off bin lorries and say 'right, you're on your own'.
cab


right, but the amount of change needed to implement this scheme woud be 'massive' - if we're going that far in this theoretical situation, why would we not implement a corresponding 'stick' for nobbers, and also hammer the supermarkets about producing the excess packaging etc. in for a penny, in for a pound. For me, that's all part of the new scheme. It'd be senseless to simply switch off bin lorries and say 'right, you're on your own'.

At lunchtime I was talking to a chap in a charity shop (which shall remain nameless). He's doing community service, he had something like 200 hours to do originally, he's just been given another 200 hours 'for doing it again' (what it was shall remain unsaid; it wasn't nice). He's sure he'll get that to do at the same charity shop, so he's okay with it.

We're not looking at changing culture around waste to make your idea work. We're looking at changing the entire culture of crime and punishment. Massive is under-stating it.
Mrs R


We're not looking at changing culture around waste to make your idea work. We're looking at changing the entire culture of crime and punishment. Massive is under-stating it.

Laughing I don't think so, we haven't established what the exact methods would be!
cab


We're not looking at changing culture around waste to make your idea work. We're looking at changing the entire culture of crime and punishment. Massive is under-stating it.

Laughing I don't think so, we haven't established what the exact methods would be!

Not really. At present you can basically do what you like with rubbish and while, in theory, if you fly tip it, let it pile up, burn it, or whatever, you might be in trouble. In practice no one in any kind of authority cares. At all. Even a bit. So the result is that individuals get away with being dreadful. And unfortunately thats also true for lots of other petty crime like nicking a few things from shops, speeding,etc. To change things such that there are real ways of people dealing with waste in a future where we're meant to get rid of our own... Its unrealistic. Sorry. I don't see us getting hard on any of those other criminal activities either.
cab

Tax packaging more. or better still ban some packaging types

That isn't enough on its own. Its not a bad idea, like.

Personally I'd like to see things like bottles and bags have value. Why the heck are we melting down bottles and jars to make more bottles and jars? Put a deposit on them and re-use them.
Barefoot Andrew

Its not a bad idea, like.

You've gorn all Geordie again.
A.
Mrs R


We're not looking at changing culture around waste to make your idea work. We're looking at changing the entire culture of crime and punishment. Massive is under-stating it.

Laughing I don't think so, we haven't established what the exact methods would be!

Not really. At present you can basically do what you like with rubbish and while, in theory, if you fly tip it, let it pile up, burn it, or whatever, you might be in trouble. In practice no one in any kind of authority cares. At all. Even a bit. So the result is that individuals get away with being dreadful. And unfortunately thats also true for lots of other petty crime like nicking a few things from shops, speeding,etc. To change things such that there are real ways of people dealing with waste in a future where we're meant to get rid of our own... Its unrealistic. Sorry. I don't see us getting hard on any of those other criminal activities either.

You have simply described above what happens now, today - that could be changed. You don't see us getting hard on other criminals, but I don't see why if there was a real push to sort out the waste system, this particular area would be concentrated on by the new people in charge of the whole project. Making it easy for people to comply and somehow punishing those that don't is all part of the implementation of the new scheme as I see it. I actually think that just as now most people don't want to break the law and live in a stinking midden, the same attitudes would apply to the new way.
baldybloke

"Why the heck do so many people need a whole car load of over-packaged junk every week?"

1)Because they hope it makes them feel better and confirm life is worthwhile.

2)Because to a greater or lesser extent we're all(well mostly) good obedient consumers who absorb all the advertising hype and do as we're told. We're all part of the wonderful capitalist consumerist culture - too busy with chasing the next 'must-have' to look up and notice all the wonderful things our government does in our name......

Dee

Absolutely, and if people don't wake up to that then we're all going to hell in a handcart before too long...
Shouldn't that be hell in a dustcart?
Personally I think the WI had it right by returning all the packaging back to the point of sale - the supermarket.
Rob R

All my shopping is done by bike. I don't relish the thought of riding back to the shop with a rucksack full of compostables.

Better to reduce the amount of carp people buy IMHO. Why the heck do so many people need a whole car load of over-packaged junk every week?

'Cause they don't need to worry about what happens to it at the other end? Not the whole reason, but a big part of it.
Jo S

What about those who don't drive? What do they do with their rubbish? Rob R

All my shopping is done by bike. I don't relish the thought of riding back to the shop with a rucksack full of compostables.

My thoughts too. I shop by car (a family of four's weekly shop doesn't fit in a rucksack!!) and don't really fancy filling my boot with last week's rubbish before refilling it with this week's food. Rob's comment about the possibility of rubbish collections and food deliveries being made by the same vehicle is a good idea in principle but would you really be happy with trash and food being stored in the same truck?


You don't have to tip rubbish in like a dust cart and then tip your food into the boot - I go to the tip and return after going to the shop, it really isn't an issue.

Rubbish doesn't multiply either, so the volume of waste will be less than the volume of shopping. The idea isn't to store food or waste in a truck, merely to transport it to a recycling hub. Some waste wouldn't be practical, obviously, but some would. If fuel prices continue to rise we may not have a choice, as haulage won't pay in either direction with empty lorries.
Rob R

What about those who don't drive? What do they do with their rubbish?

Transport it however they transport themselves and their food/other goods. The mode of transport is irrelevant to the principle, it's all just transport.
Jo S

Well, the majority of packaging that I have to dispose of comes from online orders.

I may be an exception, and it's not as though I'm not mobile, but I'm also contemplating a situation where I have to take a bin bag on the bus - a bin bag containing, as one did the other day, my usual rubbish, including dog muck, and the heads, feet, feathers and guts of four pheasants...
kirstyfern

Tax packaging more. or better still ban some packaging types

I saw organic apples in Sainsburys are now packed in degradable starch bags, ok they are not completely clear but you can see the apples and if you are buying prepacked apples at least it is better than the plastic bags the other apples are wrapped in.

If all packaging had to be biodegradable then it would at least help if (sorry, WHEN) it ended up in landfill.

I remember when the takeaways put burgers in the polystyrene cartons, they contained CFCs and were banned, they now use cardboard boxes and cups, they are still dumped on roadsides but at least they degrade quicker!

Packaging is the main problem, that is the supermarkets and has to be good for transport reasons I suppose, but loads of stuff could be wrapped in paper / cardboard / biodegradable bags rather that the non recyclable stuff - mushroom and tomato trays are plastic, yet the loose apples come with 'egg box' type recycled mulch, it would make more sense if this was used with the other veg...
Rob R

I think we are guilty of both over complicating and over simplifying the suggestion that we think about this. You wouldn't have a bin bag, as that is an application designed for a bin lorry, and you may have to still have collections, however they'd be far less frequent than they are now (and possibly charged for?).

I had an awful lot of cardboard that I've been saving up under the false impression that they were going to start collecting it in the new year. It looked an awful lot but once it was packed sensibly the volume was much reduced. If I'd had a place to take it at the shop I could have easily done it, even walking with a back pack.

Let's not take this to absolute conclusions, as I haven't any, and it's open to discussion.
Jo S

I was just thinking of my own circumstances, since that's all any of us have to go on.

A reduction in packaging (fresh veg, for example) combined with the development of eco packaging for things wot have to be contained seems to be the best way forward as a more practical solution.
Bernie66

Tax packaging more. or better still ban some packaging types

I saw organic apples in Sainsburys are now packed in degradable starch bags, ok they are not completely clear but you can see the apples and if you are buying prepacked apples at least it is better than the plastic bags the other apples are wrapped in.

If all packaging had to be biodegradable then it would at least help if (sorry, WHEN) it ended up in landfill.

I remember when the takeaways put burgers in the polystyrene cartons, they contained CFCs and were banned, they now use cardboard boxes and cups, they are still dumped on roadsides but at least they degrade quicker!

Packaging is the main problem, that is the supermarkets and has to be good for transport reasons I suppose, but loads of stuff could be wrapped in paper / cardboard / biodegradable bags rather that the non recyclable stuff - mushroom and tomato trays are plastic, yet the loose apples come with 'egg box' type recycled mulch, it would make more sense if this was used with the other veg...
Exactly. My thoughts exactly. BAN plastic packaging unless it's the ONLY way and then tax the cr*p out of it to change habits. Sorted.
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