Waste management

Say goodbye wheelie bins

Wheelie bins clutter the streets and gardens of Guisborough. They are ugly, cumbersome and ruin the overall look of the town. It is good that we have bins for recycling but what once was a single bin per household now amounts to three bins.

And then there is remembering to put them out. Forgetting is more serious than it once was because you have to wait two weeks before you get another opportunity.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. I have seen in a couple of countries where they have underground storage systems where both items for recycling and household waste can be disposed of. And it works.

The best example I experienced was in the Netherlands. I was living in a suburb and there were a number of these waste disposal points along the road. They are completely safe in that the design means a child cannot fall into one of them. It is possible for it to be opened with a key fob to avoid them becoming a collection point for other people’s waste. As you can see from the picture of the one I would use for household waste, there is no litter surrounding it.

One of the major benefits of this approach is that residents do not have to worry about missing a pick up. It is so much quicker to empty the bins for a whole street meaning they can be emptied more often. The waste is literally craned out and dropped into the back of a bin lorry. The same lorry can still pick up normal wheelie bins (such as for disabled residents who cannot use the communal disposal point).

Disposal points can have multiple receptacles allowing recycled items to be divided from household waste.

It is important that this approach to waste collection is carried out with care for those with mobility issues and this is why it is important that wheelie bins are till provided where applicable. It is also important that councils do not see this as a cost cutting exercise by cutting staff back once they realise that collections can be carried out much more quickly. The council should work with refuse collection to understand how the facility can be used to vastly improve the service.

This approach may raise concerns but from experience I have found that once you get used to this method it is far more practical than having three ugly plastic wheelie bins per house.

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