Binwatch Moblog

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The reduction in rubbish collections has caused public outrage in Britain. Over 150 councils are switching from weekly to fortnightly refuse collections. Will this improve recycling rates as the government has claimed or will it result in mounting piles of rubbish, putting our health at risk?

Binwatch wants to see your bins! Are they overflowing with rubbish? Attracting local vermin? Or perhaps the new system is resulting in a greener approach to your rubbish disposal.

Send us your bin stories, photos and videos - good or bad!

’Dispatches: Bin Wars’ is on Channel 4 on Mon 24th May at 9pm


Posting to this moblog is simple, simply send an MMS containing an image or video to 07725202020 with your message and the word bin at the start of the message, then more info about your bin such as where it is located in the UK, how smelly is it, etc. Alternatively you can email your Bin pictures or video to:
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You can also add detailed info about your bin by posting user comments below your picture.

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24th May 2007, 23:13  

Barry Walters says:

Your local council is going to fortnightly collection for the simple reason to save money. The logical thing is to collect weekly, on the same day, recyclables, garden waste and general rubbish.

Binwars was -wrong- to say we are running out of holes to fill. The country extracts more minerals from the ground than is replaced with land-filled rubbish. [check your local council "Mineral Extraction Plan2 and "Waste disposal Plan"; no doubt Channel 4 researchers should have done this]. We have not yet started to fill the old coal mines etc.

We are running out of land fill sites with planning permission because nobody wants their rubbish dumped near them. A properly engineered, to todays standards, land fill site collects the leachate and methane for further treatment.

Anyway what happens to the methane produced by home composting?

24th May 2007, 23:15

andi320 says:

I am a German living in the UK as well. My impression is, that the people here never cared about the idea of recycling until recently. One of the main problems seems to be, that the government and local councils are not willing to learn from other countries who introduced recycling years ago. If they are too proud or just stubborn...? I don't want to comment on that.



Recycling facilities as they are, don't seem to work properly. Just the idea of having to put tin cans, plastic bottles, glass, card board and paper in the same recycling bins or bags is shocking. Or why can plastic bottles be recycled, but plastic foils or plastic yoghurt pots (rinsed after the washing up) can't??? After all, it is the same material! Unless people are learning to separate at home, recycling will never work. I also don't understand, that glass is not separated by colour.


Looks like the EU will have to introduce far stricter rules to force this country to start recycling properly and as a whole nation.

24th May 2007, 23:15

Wayne Burgreave says:

I have been using a waste disposal unit for five years and found it to be efficient and hygenic keeping my litterbin and dustbin smell free.We have two children and find that two weekly connection is no problem.


I think that a lot of landfil waste could be redused by using waste disposal units for waste food, this will also stop the problem of rotting foods atracting fly's, rats and Vermain.The cost & installation of waste disposal units could be subsidised by the Goverment.The amount of energy used by the waste dispoal units would be less than used by refuge vehicals.

24th May 2007, 23:16

C says:

At the moment I empty my general waste bin every 2-3 weeks. This is solely due to my compost bin, recycling my garden & paper waste in the wheelie bins (which are collected every 2-3 weeks) & taking my plastics, glass & cans down to the collection point.

Unfortunately I am laughed at by a large number of people because I choose to carry my plastics etc the half mile (I don't have a car; most of the people doing the laughing have at least 1 car per household, the majority 2). I believe that if the council put on doorstep collections for The plastics etc the recycling rates for Fife as good as they are would increase dramatically.

24th May 2007, 23:16

Roger Holloway says:

their comment: Having just watched the Dispatches programme about the problems of UK waste disposal, I\\'m surprised the programme did not investigate the role of co-generation or waste to power in solving this issue.

Turning household waste into a fuel to generate both heat & power seems a sensible solution to the problem of waste disposal.

It works hand in glove with re-cycling, it avoids the necessity of mountains of rubbish goin into land fill and produces electricity and hot water.

I suggest a follow-up programme to have a sensible look at co-generation as part of the solution to UK waste disposal.

Basingstoke may be a good place to start by looking at the role Chineham Waste To Power Plant opeated by Veolia Environmental Services plays in their waste disposal strategy

24th May 2007, 23:17

Helen (retired Director of Public Health) says:

Thanks for your Dispatches programme - but how can I record my support for any initiatives that will encourage us - the public - to be more responsible with our waste. You only seem to want responses from people who have over-filled rubbish bins.

Clearly larger recycling facilities are needed - but even more important would be a reduction in the amount of food waste. We were absolutely appalled by the amount of good food that you discarded for the experiment. We realise that it was only being discarded for the sake of the experiment but we understand that vast quantities of food is indeed discarded by British households. We realise that we are sad old wrinklies, but we were both brought up during the war and food waste was an absolute anathema; we're also only too aware of the children starving in developing countries - partly due to droughts and floods caused by the climate changes that our wasteful society is causing.

Could we have a programme to highlight the obsecenity of such a wasteful society.

Please keep up these good programmes but please also try and think of future generations as well as our self-centred one

Kind regards

24th May 2007, 23:18

Keith Fearn says:

I LIVE IN A SMALL SEASIDE RESORT HAT DEPENDS ON TOURISTS FOR REVENUE.I AM A SMALL GUEST HOUSE OWNER AND TOGETHER WITH 10 OTHERS WITHIN OUR AREA ARE WILLING O RECYCLE ALL OUR RUBBISH BOTH PERSONAL AND WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS LEAVE BEHIND, OUR COUNCIL WILL NOT GIVE US THE BINS THOUGH WE HAVE THE SPACE FOR THE LARGE BINS IN OUR CAR PARK ETC, THEY WISH US TO JUST PUT IT INTO WASTE BINS MIXED THAT ARE COLLECTED FROM PAID CONTRACTOR FIRMS OR WE PAY FOR SPECIAL BAGS FOR COLLECTION EVERY 2 WEEKS.WE ALLREADY PAY 2 LOTS OF COUNCIL TAX FOR THE BUSINESS AND THE SMALL ACCOMODATION WE LIVE IN BUT ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO GIVE 2 BAGS A WEEK.NEARBY WE HAVE FLATS THAT ARE ABLE TO PUT OUT IN ANY AMOUNT OF BAGS. THE OCCUPANTS ARE ALL ON BENEFITS AND PAY NO TAXES.WE ALL WANT TO HELP WITH THE LANDFILL PROBLEMS BUT IT SEEMS THAT THE GOVERMENT ARE JUST WANTING TO TAKE MONEY FOR WHATEVER.THIS IS A TOPIC WE AS RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE WISH TO GET SORTED SOONER RATHER THAN LATER AS SUMMERS COMING AND A 2 WEEKLY COLLECTION WILL NOT BE A NICE SIGHT FOR OUR DIMINISHING HOLIDAY MAKERS TO SEE AND SMELL.

24th May 2007, 23:18

Vicky Griffiths says:

I haven't got a picture, but just wanted to say how dreadful Dudley council's bin collection is, i have been writing to them for the past 11 years asking why we havent yet got wheelie bins for household rubbish, we are allocated 1 bin bag per house per week, which has to be carried through the house on collection day. And seeing as we have a big RAT problem in our road, due to bin bags being exposed. you would think the council would be eager to get this resolved, we must be the only borough still using bin bags and not wheelie bins.My Parents live in Wigan and have had there wheelie bin for well over 11 years. Why is Dudley council so behind the times.

I recycle what dudley council will allow me, which is glass, garden waste, paper and tins, they do not allow us to recycle plastic cartons cardboard boxes or cardboard cartons, WHY!!!! am i not paying the same council taxes as other people in other boroughs

24th May 2007, 23:19

Chris says:

Why don\\'t supermarkets just allow one bag per visit, then if you have just\\'popped\\' in, you are covered, but your weekly shop will have to be thought about.

We are aon 2 week collection for the past 3 years, last year i had my rubbish bib emptied once a month, and recycle bin 4 times. O.K. I live mostly on my own, but I feed friends, and family several times a week! I have a dog- i.e. dog tins, all my newspapers go to the local Hospice, they can get money for them, I have a wormery, and a compost- both are very efficient. I double wrap the nasties ( nappies etc.,) in the few plastic bags I get, and only once have I seen maggots, and they were soon sorted with the yellow dustbin powder.

Other people around here, sometimes have overflowing bins, but have the same size garden etc., it just takes a bit of thought, and effort, and organisation. I think alot of people just can\\'t be bothered!

24th May 2007, 23:20

Denise Byrne says:

We recycle 90% of our household waste. Chelmsford Council provide an excellent kerbside collection. We have separate containers for garden waste, glass, tin & textiles, plastic, paper and cardboard. All provided and replaced quickly if lost. We also have a compost bin where all vegetable peelings etc. are put. There are 3 of us that live in the house and we only put about 1 bag of 'land-fill' waste a week. Chelmsford Council is certainly worth looking at for a lead on other councils from what I have seen and heard.

24th May 2007, 23:20

Michael May says:

We live in anglesey and currently we have recycling taken each week, garden week taken every two weeks and household waste taken two weeks. We find that because the recycling on Anglesey is so restrictive in what it will take with two young children as well, our bin fills by the end of the first week meaning unless we take the rubbish ourselves our young children have to play in the backyard where the rubbish is kept as it is the only place it is not scrounged though by stray pets etc. We feel it is very unhygenic to ourselves and our kids and if anglesey had a better recycling plan that would accept more plastics from packaging etc it would be easier to cope with a two week bin emptying.

24th May 2007, 23:21

M says:

I understand that all retailers who sell their products in packaging are required by law to accept this packaging back to dispose of it or in return send it to the company who made the packaging.

Can any one advise me if this is not legal as I worked for a packaging company who were scared that the public might do this if they knew.

24th May 2007, 23:22

Susan says:

the goverment knows how bad this waste issue is and still isnt turning it around. There is a simple solution there is a free workforce available to sort through the recycled stuff how many petty criminals are there make them work off their sentence make comummity service benefit the community

so what if the job is a little smelly the policehave to do it when serching for evidence and it might just be a deterant for the criminal

24th May 2007, 23:23

Julie Donovan says:

excellent programme - very worrying but extremely informative - i just hope that the majority of the nation was watching and has the brains and sense to take on board something that so urgently needs addressing thank you dispatches

24th May 2007, 23:24

Michael Hall says:

TO ALL

TONIGHT I HAVE RECEIVED A FREE PACKAGE OF THE FOLLOWING THROUGH MY DOOR UNINVITED :-

1 OFF 20 LEAVES EXETER TIMES NEWSPAPER

1 OFF 5 PAGE GLOSSY MENU FROM THE LOCAL CHINESE TAKEAWAY

1 OFF TESCO SHOP ONLINE INVITE

2 OFF WICKS ADVERTISMENT PAPER

1 OFF LOCAL WINDOW BLIND COMPANY ADVERT

1 OFF TWO PAGE ADVERT FOR HARVEYS FURNITURE

1 OFF 6 LEAF PROMOTION PAPER FROM B & Q

1 OFF 28 LEAF CATALOGUE PRICE UPDATE FROM ARGOS



ALL THIS AMOUNTS TO 250g OF WASTED MATERIAL WHICH WILL GO STRAIGHT INTO MY GREEN BIN WITHOUT ME EVEN READING IT. BASICALY IF I NEED SOMETHING I WILL SEARCH THE WEB FOR THE BEST PRICE OR QUALITY OR REVIEW OF THE PRODUCT I NEED TO PURCHASE.

MY POINTS ARE:-

DO WE NEED SUCH JUNK MAIL PUT THROUGH A DESIGN PRINT AND DISTRIBUTION PROCESS WHICH COSTS "ENVIROMENTALY" TO BE PUT IN MY BIN?

IF I AM TO BE CHARGED FOR THE DISPOSAL OF THESE ITEMS CAN I RECOVER THE CHARGE?

CAN I PROSECUTE THE COMPANIES WHO 'DUMP' JUNK MAIL ON ME FOR THESE COSTS?

IF THIS FORM OF ENVIROMENTAL COST IS BROGHT TO AN END JUST THINK OF HOW MANY GRAPHIC DESIGNERS, PRINTERS, POSTMEN AND OTHER DISTRIBUTORS WILL BE OUT OF WORK!

24th May 2007, 23:24

hkelly says:

after working in refuse for twenty years so many things have changed but recycling has been one of the best changes plus the amount of people who have been given employment was overlooked by the show.

24th May 2007, 23:25

Mad says:

What was that one week vs two week collection comparison about???

Completely misses the point about alternate weekly collections - that the same staff and infrastructure can be used to collect recyclables one week and landfill waste the next!!

It seemed that they just said right, here are some bins to people and collected one set after 1 week and another after 2. Duh, two bins = 1 for landfill, 1 for recyclables.

Ridiculous, unscientific, irresposible reporting.

Expect better from Channel 4.

24th May 2007, 23:25

benji says:

i watched your show about oxford and you are right oxford is crap for recycling the recycle men are rude and lazy they told me to piss off 1 day when i asked why he throw rubbish on the on grass they leave stuff which saying it is recycleable on then fair play to the normal bin men they are a real help oxford should dort out there rude rcycling men.

24th May 2007, 23:26

Craig(cnixonadmin-at-sky-dot-com) says:

I agree with Andy320 what we have is an inconsistent approach by the local Authority which allows the Waste Contractor to cherry pick the recyclables which will make them money - they sell much of it. The problem for me is thst for many years manufacturers have had to put recycling information on packaging, the triangle symbol with a number inside, but at the last point of recycling we are told that it should not be recycled - crazy.

24th May 2007, 23:27

Caz says:

What about all the places alternate weekly collection works with bins and no bags on the streets, no rats there. It is still a weekly collection just different waste each week.

We throw too much away and it was awful to see all that fresh food being used for an experiment. Buy what you need. Get with the recycling, it looked like Alex the presenter lived in a nice house, just enough space to start a landfill in his back garden.

Rats are on the increase because people leave food on the ground, litter and rubbish, not just because of alternate weekly collections. I agree there should be some bins for those bags to go in. In Edinburgh and other parts of Europe communal bins are on each street.

24th May 2007, 23:27

Keith Donnely says:

Enjoyed the programme and to me it pointed up the deceipt being played upon us.

Firstly, as council tax payers we are already paying for waste to be collected. The idea that we should be expected to pay twice for the same unsatisfactory service is not acceptable.

Second, why are supermarkets not forced to reduce the amount of packaging they give customers. Time was when we only got a brown paper bag with things like fruit, veg & meat.

24th May 2007, 23:27

arija says:

I am absolutely appalled to see perfectly good food (probably produced by our own farming communities who are also struggling to make a living) being deposited in a bin on this weeks Dispatches programme to attract the rat population to partake of these delicacies, which makes a mockery of the arguments against twice weekly collection of refuse. We should be eating our food, not depositing it as waste in bins.

There are many children and families living in poverty in this country who would gratefully eat the food that was left to attract rats and other animals to eat it!!! By reducing our waste by only buying the food we are going to eat, recycling plastic, glass and paper/cardboard, composting inedible vegetable waste we, as a family of 4, only 1/2 fill our wheely bin for fortnightly collections, which most importantly means that we have reduced our shopping budget also.

Even within this affluent society I still feel that it is ethically and morally unjustifiable to waste food unless we feel that are rat populations also deserve a break in maintaining their growing numbers!!!

24th May 2007, 23:28

Stephanie says:

We live outside of the UK, but what happens here is instead of leaving our rubbish outside our homes for fornightly collection, there are communal big wheelie bins, where we dump our non-recyclables (daily if need be) and recyclables in clearly marked huge bins.

These are emptied every two or three days. Surely this is a more practical and cheaper way of rubbish collection. It just means you lazy Brits have to actually go for a walk down the road to dump your waste! But it also means that each house in the UK doesn\\'t have to have at least one ugly bin outside their homes.

24th May 2007, 23:29

R Goodall says:

i live in block of 4 apts , small black wheelie bins fit exactly under stairs and are not big enough , no recycling takes place , no room , and no outside space , stairs are stinking , i have had council out to see ,and nothing can be done , rates have doubled recently , for which i get half the service , i suggested you build bin housing area in carpark , council said no , it is disgrace , older property dosent fit with councils new regime , what can i do do ,everytime i phone council i get recycle recycle buzz word , i have even emailed them pics of problem , what rights do i have ? ,is there a council watchdog type thing ?

24th May 2007, 23:29

Gloria McClurg says:

I live in the Mendip District Council area in Somerset.We have a green wheely bin for all unrecylable items which is collected once a fortnight, a black box in which we can put paper,glass and cans this is collected weekly,a small brown bin to keep in the kitchen to put food waste in(I buy the small bio-degradable bags to put in this bin,they cost me £4.00 for 40)When these small bins are full they are emptied into a larger brown bin which is collected every week.

For garden waste we can either pay £25.00 per year for a brown wheely bin or pay £10.00 for 10 paper bags.This bin is collected fortnighly,the week when the Green bin is not.

as there is only my husband and we are quite happy with our bin collections,however when my Grandaughter was in nappies my son and his partner did not like not having their green bin only emptied fortnightly.

Our Council will give a family of more than 6 in the household an extra green bin.

If we have to start and pay for our bins to be emptied I can see that other people might start putting their waste in their neighbours bins and there could be an increase in Fly-tipping.

We cannot recycle plastic or cardboard on the doorstep yet allthough it may be coming in the future, we have to drive 6 miles to the recycling centre with it. This seems to defeat the object as we have to use fuel to get there.

24th May 2007, 23:30

Anne says:

All in favour of recycling though it's a bit inconvenient now having to take cardboard to the amenity site as the council doesn't collect it.

I do have a problem with chipped bins though, not because I don't think it's a great idea (I do) but when we were first moved to fortnightly collections, the first things our neighbours did were steal your bin so you had no bin and they had 2 collections, and failing that wait until after you put your bin out and then they topped it up with their refuse.

How on earth do you prove that the rubbish in your bin wasn't what you put in? We were lucky when the council refused to empty our overfull bins that we caught one of our nice neighbours (who runs a nursery) filling our bins up with nappies..but if the pressure is on to pay as you throw..why wouldn't an inconsiderate neighbour top up your own bins....?

24th May 2007, 23:37

Veronica says:

I've no rest since recycling bins apppeared underneath all my windows. Big green bins was already there. Smell is awfull so is noise.I got daughter of 9 month old she wake up crying because of the noise of the throwing bottles scares her and making me jump.

There is no particular time when people can throw rubbish 24/7 noise from smashing bottles,slaming lids. Even with all the windows shut I can hear everything what is going on outside , often I caught my self praying for that bin man to come and get all rubish away.

Me and 2 of my daughters living in block of flats . It's a few the same blocks near and once someone actually set fire in green bin , fire went up straight to the bedroom window ,window frame bend glass smashed well my daughters supposed to sleep in the same allocated bedroom so I think you can understand how that's making me feel.

Recycling is good but not when rubbish bins allocated underneath your bedrooms windows.

Somebody complaining they got one small smelly bin outside house , we got 2 big plus 4 recycling . That is not fear on my familie. Councils should think more carefully before allocating bins and also about collection time .

I dont think that it will be possible enjoy summer with all the flies , smell ,noise underneath our windows. Birds damaging rubbush bags ,once we had used sanitary towels all over and flies bites ,smell makes you feel like vomit and it will be even worst . Prefer not to think about it it making me feel down big time .

25th May 2007, 00:19

paul samuals(pj6027-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Agree with the point above, This really was a rubbish attempt at teh issues. Stupid uneducated reporting. the oen week two week bin thing was deliberaltey decieveing and the stats from every single La that has introduced fronightly rubbish will show it to increase recycling. there isnt one that hasnt increased recyclign it dosent exist.

My council introduced frnightly collections two years ago and the was some teething problems. But the recyclign is weekly and its not commingled as the programme implied it sepearted by nice men on the trucks.

Why bother making a documnetary if your going to produce such crap!

25th May 2007, 02:38

Sian says:

I watched your Dispatches programme with interest. We do have a problem with waste in this country and need to find a solution. However I wonder at the scientific 'method' adopted in your experiments. I wonder about the ethically considerations of buying new wheelie bins and branding them with the word dispatches - will they now be sold/given to a waste disposal firm to use (who will not be able to remove your name) or will they be dumped in landfill?

May I also ask why the waste from industrial and construction sites was not tackled in your programme? Perhaps this is an issue you would like to investigate in the future.

25th May 2007, 07:48

Richard(richardfeather-at-mac-dot-com) says:

I wish Channel 4 had interviewed me for last nights programe. Oxford has been awash with digustining rubbish problems for years, with a wishy, washy liberal approch to this problem. People throw rubbish bags into the street. They get attacked by Foxes. It creates flies & rats. Residents actuallly fly tip on their own property. No one really cares, it has had a real impact on our lives. Since we have had wheelie bins it marginally improved the situation. I actually believe the only way to tackle this problem is to fine poeple. But this council is on record for totally ignoring its problems. However the tourist ares are well kept!

25th May 2007, 08:11

V says:

I feel that Dispatches did not present all the information. Alternate weekly collections do work but only if the recycling is collected every week. If you had looked at an area where this happens you would have seen that people do recycle more when they get the bin emptied every fortnight.

25th May 2007, 09:22

mark(mark-dot-c-at-stayfree-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Why is it, that our council/residents can manage to recycle over 40% and still keep weekly collections? Yet it appears that other councils are just not trying hard enough to keep up with the demand to recycle yet blame the residents for their own failings in supplying the tools (Bags/bins) to do the job.
We have bags which are supplied by the council and it does not matter how many recycle bags we put out out. We are however limited to three black bags. All of which are collected weekly.

25th May 2007, 09:53

Local Coucil worker says:

Dear Dispatches, I feel that the programme that was aired last night was unfair. This is because this was covering the people who are not responsible you did not prmote Compost bins which can get rid of food waste and most of what people do chuck a way in domestic waste can be recycled.

If the wheelie bin is left open this is when Maggots generally happen, Rats will not get at the rubbish if the wheelie bin is closed properly. Your programme only showed the people who don't like this. People just don't NOT like change. But this is benefiting our children's children.

Kind Regards Local Council Worker

25th May 2007, 10:22

Graham Gore says:

Here in France we pay euros60 every 6 months and our rubbish is collected weekly. We have yellow plastic bags for tins and plastic: blue for paper and black for everything else.

There No rats or other problems but with the extremely high council tax you pay in U.K., I would suggest you vote out of office the councillors.

Your council tax should be scrapped and the money put in income tax. Then we would not have elderly pensioners being sent to prison- which is disgraceful!!

25th May 2007, 10:25

A C Holder says:

Appalled that there was no mention of incineration as a viable program to reduce landfill. If all residual waste was incinerated it would reduce landfill 90% and contribute energy to the grid or locally.

Carbon offset by reduced coal or gas generation makes this very eco-desirable! This should be a No. 1 Government initiative to meet EU demands and our well being!

When councils charge for collecting will we get a reduction in council tax? Some hope!

25th May 2007, 10:27

Michael Grant says:

An excellent programme but the real answer to the problem was missing.

I have space so can recycle almost everything and compost vegetable and garden waste but most people who live in flats or tower block apartments cannot do this. In many cases with only lifts or rubbish shutes in Multi-storey buildings it is impossible, so it is impracticle to do much at all.

EU and Governmant policy imposed on local Authorities is impossible to implement so recycling will never reach much more than it has already and will only be ignored and cost the taxpayer money.

The answer to this is that in most urban areas rubbish need not be recyled by the householder but taken direct to a commercial recycling plant where glass and other useful material can be extracted. The remainder should then be sent to a Waste to Energy Incinerator where all unrecyclable material is burnt to produce electricity and the bits that don\\'t burn such as metal and ash can be sent for smelting or road building as happens in many of these plants already in operation.

There is a large incinerator plant adjacent to the railway line between New Cross and London Bridge that has been doing this now for nearly 10 Years. Why was this very efficient form of waste disposal generating what is in effect green electricity not quoted?

Other plants are to be built, one at Belevedere in South London and one at Newhaven in East Sussex that I am aware of. This method of waste disposal is the way forward, is sustainable and could produce up to three times the amount of electricity that wind farms could assuming that a good wind is blowing all the time which it does not. There is no wind today so no electricty from the wind!

25th May 2007, 10:28

Keith says:

Watching the program last night, I was wondering why it only went to Belgium.I live in a village not far from Alicante, we have a bin collection 3 times per week and we can put anything in it.

We can also recycle materials in special bins in the village.

We pay 62 Euros per year for this service [approx £45.00].

The councils in England should build sorting centres then everything could be reclaimed after all we pay council tax for this service.

I suppose its much easier to rip of the public.

25th May 2007, 10:29

Local council worker says:

Dear Bin watch

The programme last night was very negative and now you've passed on bad press. England do not adapt to change easily as where Australia & America have has wheelie bins for many years and they've received no such problems.

In the programme there was no promotion of the compost bins which will get red of uncooked food, paper, garden waste, cardboard and many other things. The food that was wasted last night would have done wonders in a compost and can be recycle around a garden.

Since this programme last night our residents are panicking for no good reason. I would rather, as many people have stated, would rather see a wheelie bin in the street than split black bags!

Rats and maggots are caused by irresponsible residents who don't recycle and clean up after themselves! There are many of these people about. Where as I live in a flat with no recycling round but I carry my recyclables to Tescos. I only throw out 1 bag every 3 weeks and then the bag is only half full. That's recycling. I couldn't even fill a bin in 3 months!! also as I'm in a flat I can't use a compost bin. I would love too.

You should be showing the good side to the scheme as well. We have received many calls that residents are looking forward to the scheme.

It's all about education and the English people don't seem to master this!!

Kind Regards

Local council worker, wheelie bin supporter and tax payer

25th May 2007, 10:30

Carol Woan says:

Though I enjoyed the programme, there\\'s something I can't get information on:

I live in Yeovil, Somerset and we have the AWC in progress. We have brown food waste bins collected weekly. What I\\'d like to know is this; Which areas have the brown food waste bins running in tandem with AWC?

Also, why is no mention made of them in any report? All I hear about is maggots/flies and am wondering why food waste is put in \\'main\\' bin.

25th May 2007, 10:54

RoseyD says:

I found this programme totally biased. Where were the comments from people who are very happy with fortnightly collections? I know lots in York. Added to that - why are people throwing away food. If you have to throw it away you are buying too much - buy less, save money, bin less. We are a family of 5, including 3 teenagers! Our grey bin is two thirds full at the end of one week and we sort our recycling into 3 boxes of different sizes according to which there is most of. This is because York CC supplies one box and the staff sort the material themselves as they collect. Very efficient but didn't see why I couldn't do some of the sorting for them.
The other thing I noticed about your programme was that people seem to want their waste to look BIG. Cardboard tubes not flattened. Milk cartons left full size. Sorry folks but all you told me was that this was a production company that can't be relied on to give a fair picture of a story!

25th May 2007, 12:08

Tracey Newman says:

I never write to TV companies but last nights Dispatches made me very very angry.

It was so one sided it was laughable. Your cameras need to come to Daventry or South Northamptonshire to see a two weekly scheme that has been running for at least 7 years extremely succesfully.

You are not allowed to put bags out so there are no rats. Bins don\\'t smell if you are not wastefull and wash packaging. We have a wheely bin for garden waste and cardboard and two small bins for all other recyling and a wheely bin for rubbish.

We have a very well maintained dump/recycling centre for everything else. For ten minutes extra effort a week we have a wonderfull system with no rats and no smells and no rubbish everywhere.

Please consider finding the other side of the story before making a scare mongering programe like this again.

25th May 2007, 13:21

Bob Barnes says:

I can't see what all the fuss is about Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire councils changed over to fortnightly collections about a year ago at which point they provided a plastic box for recylable waste and a set of clear instructions on recyling they also offered a substantial garden composter and a food composter for £10 each both of which I purchased so I no longer have any problems with waste food or garden waste and my garden is also benefiting whilst at the same time reducing the waste in my Wheely bin which is fine for me, however I do realise that this does not suit everyone and that some people are not able to go this route for what ever reason.
My point is that Joe public has to take a bigger responsiblity for disposing of there own waste and meet the local authoritys and central government half way whilst at the same token the local authoritys and central government have to do more to encourage Joe public, one small way would be for anything to do with waste disposal/recyling such as composters and the bits and pieces that go with them should be VAT free, this would be another way for Central Government to show just how committed they are to solving this problem, but on the other hand why should they when they can impose yet more stealth taxes (oh cynical me)

25th May 2007, 13:51

Sam Dew says:

I think the fortnightly household waste collections along with weekly recycle collections work brilliantly for our family. We recycle and compost everything we can, we are a family of four and we quite often don't fill our bin up in a fortnight. I buy alot from farmers markets which means no packaging and take my own fabric bags to the supermarket so no carrier bags to dispose of.
Surely it is more about educating people to dispose of rubbish in the right way. Maybe councils should give a difinitive list of what waste goes where. My 4 year old knows what goes in the compost, what can be recycled and what goes in the bin and my 2 year old knows quite alot about it already as we have got them in the habit of helping after meal times etc. It is possible to keep the bin free of maggots and rats if food is put in black sacks, tied tight and put in the wheelie bin, and kept to a minimum, compost as much as possible. Education is the key.

25th May 2007, 14:07

Donna(donnafenley-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

I was horrified when I watched dispatches last night. I can't believe people are so ignorant and thoughtless to simply throw away items which could easily be recycled. I would be very happy to see a "pay per throw" system in operation, and you can microchip my bin. I don't think we are exceptional in our household, but let me tell you how we do it .......

We are two adults, three children (one of 2 years of age who is in WASHABLE NAPPIES), two cats and a rabbit. In the last year (whilst we have been recycling everything we possibly can) our wheelie bin has NEVER been full. This is how we do it. It's not rocket science, anyone can do it.

Firstly, our local authority takes away only garden waste, glass bottles and jars, newspapers and magazines and tin cans. I have two green, lidded crates to collect these items in and the crates are collected on a fortnightly basis (actually each household is only supplied with one crate but when a council man knocked the door and asked for my opinion on the system I told him one crate was not enough, so they immediately supplied me with a second crate, free of charge). The lorry turns up and the guys sort the items into glass, papers and tins and pop them into the relevant slots in the lorry - so I am assuming this means there is no further wastage once the recycling reaches the recycling depot and it has been sorted through already.

The recycling doesn't get all my newspapers because I use some to line my rabbit's hutch (great for insulation and absorbtion) underneath the woodshavings, and once soiled I empty it into the compost bin (rabbit wee is a great "starter" for compost).

Secondly, I collect all my uncooked fruit and veg kitchen waste in a small lidded bin in my kitchen and empty this into the compost bin every couple of days (I have two compost bins because the composting cycle tends to slow down over the winter and one bin was not enough).

We also collect any woody garden waste (antyhing which would clog up our composters) and the local authority pick this up once a fortnight.

Thirdly, I collect all cardboard (boxes, food packaging etc) in a box in my garage and all plastic bottles in another. Every time I am going to be driving near the municipal tip I take them along and dispose of them appropriately (I do try not to make a special journey to the tip). Any waste wood, building materials etc I save for a trip to the big recycling centre which is a little bit further away, but they do have loads of skips for all manner of recyclable items - they also have information printed up to tell you what percentage of the stuff is used again, and what it is used for, which is really interesting. I also take my used telephone directories as they can recycle those.

I use washable nappies on my youngest child, they are amazing and not only are they great for cutting down on landfill rubbish, but also they save a fortune (you are looking at a reduction over a child's nappy-career of about two thirds of the cost of disposable nappies).

We have a water butt for watering the garden (this isn't quite the same issue I know, but since I'm polishing my halo here I might as well throw it in!!).

I use my LOCAL organic box scheme for my vegetables and eggs. This means that all my produce is not only better for my family, but it has cost the environment less in terms of chemical usage and also there is no packaging on any of the contents - no plastic trays or bags wrapping the veggies (apart from the eggs in a recycled cardboard box).

I also buy my meat from a local organic/free range meat supplier, again this has minimal packaging and I know the animals have been treated with respect and not filled with chemicals.

I don't have plastic bags from shops if I can possibly avoid it - I re-use old ones or buy re-usable bio-degradable bags. I recycle the odd ones I do get.

I also recycle anything we no longer use through Freecycle on the internet. One persons trash is another's treasure (or however the saying goes!).

So, in summary, in the last twelve months my wheelie bin has never been full - I think this is some achievement for a family of five. We could probably manage just fine on fortnightly collections, my worry would be other people's rubbish. You can microchip my bin and I will happily pay-per-throw, because I know it will cost me so little, and the environment less.

I'm sure we are not perfect, but I think we do quite well. It's not difficult, so I don't see why other folk can't do the same as us.

25th May 2007, 14:30

Pierre(misson01-at-globalnet-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Dear Channel Four and Alex Thompson

Thank you for your programme on waste and recycling (Thursday 24/05/07).

I would like to comment on the effort made by Stirling Council regarding waste collection. The system now in place for several years is as follows: we have two wheelie bins, one grey for general waste and one brown for composting material (garden refuses and cardboards) these are supported by a blue box for recyclables. The bins are collected fortnightly – only one grey bin is allowed per household; however you can have two brown bins and more blue boxes if necessary. The boxes are collected EVERY week and they are sorted at the curb side. Thus if something is not authorised (and everyone can make mistakes) this is left back in the box. The process may be a little demanding on manpower but it guarantee that recyclable waste is uncontaminated!

We are encouraged as well to use a home composter, as kitchen raw fruit/vegetable waste, for some reasons, is not considered ‘safe’ for general composting, as it could be contaminated by fish or meat in the kitchen, but we are encouraged to compost it in our own garden!

The reason for fortnightly collection of wheelie bins, I trust, was originally justified on the basis of saving in manpower/plant equipment infrastructure as collecting both types of waste weekly would have forced doubling the truck park and people. The recycling boxes having already increase the manpower and vehicles used by the council.

Recently the Household Waste Recycling Centre has been (re-)open as a drive-in facility – it is very well layout and easy to use. We have all been given clear instructions as to what goes where and provided with a ‘PERMIT’ – this so that out-of-area residents do not dump within our facilities.

Broadly speaking the Council has encouraged and educated its resident to think and recycle and we were recently thanks by the Council for helping it to recycle over 40% of Household Waste in 2006.

I hope that the Council maintain its current attitude in education and encouragement and do not shift toward a ‘repressive’ regime such as charging for waste collection as this would not be entirely successful and would raise issues that I would wanted to be resolved first – the major one being that I cannot accept to be penalised should someone places waste (allowed or not) in my bins/boxes while they are on the pavement overnight as collection in my area are made very early in the morning!

Kind regards

25th May 2007, 14:31

Roger says:

We've had fortnightly collections for 12 months now. At first I thought not going to have enough space, going to smell etc etc. But now, 12 months on, we have no problems with it. It does actually make you think of what you buy and throw away. We haven't got a problem with flys or rats or even smells even when its been warm. Don't know what all the fuss is about. In fact, our shopping bill has dropped by £30 a week!
Most people don't like change and would prefer the rubbish to be sorted for them as they are lazy and wasteful, ignore it and it will go away. The despatches program we watched the other night wasn't fair and was very one sided. My landfil dustbin is no more than half full when it's emptied and my recyles bins are normally two thirds full (less if I crushed the food packaging).
I think they should roll it out accross the country. Bring on the next level if you ask me, I would like a free composs bin and garden waste bin next! Think its about time the people of this country sat up and helped, got involved instead they moan about everything because I i've paid my council tax, i'm so right thinking only about me and everybody else is so wrong! GET A GRIP!!!!

25th May 2007, 15:45

Jan says:

Contributors have complained about the food waste in the programme. This type of scientific analysis of 2 week old food and nappy waste should have been commissioned 10 years ago by the responsible government department, before any local authority was allowed to reduce the frequency of collection. There have been warnings from Defra scientists and eminent microbiologists as well as those in the pest control industry - all have been ignored. Not everyone can compost and there is evidence that home composting can attract rats.
Thank you Dispatches for an excellent programme.

25th May 2007, 21:24

Richard(richard-dot-telfer-at-tiscali-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Dispatches - Bin Wars

Oxford Council claim to have increased recycling by 13% in one year, 19 to 32%, March to March. They attribute this to collecting rubbish only once a fortnight.

1 year ago Croydon Borough got a new Council. They have some initiatives to increase recycling but none is yet operative. In the year they have increased recycling by 15 per cent with no plans to reduce the frequency of rubbish collection from once a week.

26th May 2007, 23:26

chris(chrisdmears-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

my local authority of penwith cornwall only allow us to recycle a few items cans paper and glass no cardboard or plastic is deemed recyclable in the small row of ten houses where i live onlt one other house uses the recycle box provided it's time people were fined for not recycling household recyclables

27th May 2007, 17:30

roger says:

Chris you have been brainwashed,your household waste to others means cash,and you are washing and cleaning it and giving it free on a regular basis,you pay for it to be taken away,they should pay you.
its not about recycling its about big money,check out Belguims rich list,see where they made their money.

28th May 2007, 00:39

Tony Smith[birmingham] says:

ROGER A NEW SLANT
never thought about it like that.
if you want us to prepare it and give it to contractors,they pay us.

28th May 2007, 00:51

Nicky says:

I just watched the Bin Wars programme last night as I don't live in the UK. Firstly I thought it was awful! But thanks for showing Modbury - where I am from.

People in the UK - get a grip and learn good habits! I have spent 6 yrs living in Germany and 2 weekly collections is not an issue. Recycling is a way of life, using plastic bags is not. I always have cloth bags to hand. I trained myself in good habits.

It is not just the council, the peopl need educating and the the supermarkets need to stop pakaging. It's not rocket science.

I now live in Russia where environment and recycling are not heard of. However, I am training the people at the market and supermarket not to put all my things in a million good for nothing plastic bags. It's easy to say no. I don't buy things that are pre-packaged if I can help it. So although I have to throw away everything, at least it is less than it could be.

21st Jul 2007, 15:51

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9th Mar 2008, 20:33

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3rd Jan 2012, 06:52

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