Thanks to an excellent report by Cliff Mogg in the Surrey-Hants Star, we are beginning to see what the fortnightly bin collection is all about, and it has nothing to do with recycling. [Surrey-Hants Star, 16 November 2006]
It is no coincidence that Rushmoor is introducing fortnightly refuse collection at the same time that it is negotiating a new refuse collection contract.
Rushmoor is proposing that its rubbish collection is combined with that of the neighbouring local authority Surrey Heath across the county border in Surrey.
There are problems associated with a refuse collection carried out jointly Rushmoor with Surrey Heath.
Who is in charge? Contractors cannot have two masters. Not unless you wish to face a deteriorating service and protracted litigation.
Local councils are responsible for rubbish collection, county councils for rubbish disposal. This combined collected service will be spit across two different county authorities responsible for disposal, ie Hampshire and Surrey.
This has nothing to do with recycling, it has everything to do with cutting costs, cutting services, cutting corners, making bin men redundant.
Recycling on the doorstep, is about putting the right rubbish in the right bin. It has nothing to do with the frequency with which our rubbish is collected. Whether our rubbish is collected daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly has nothing to do with recycling, it has everything to do with cutting services.
There is a hidden agenda at work here.
Across the country, 100 people a day are being fined for putting the wrong rubbish in the wrong bins, leaving the wrong bin out on the wrong day, failing to shut the lid because the bin is overflowing.
In parts of the country, people are now burning their rubbish, including plastics. The pollution is horrendous, far worse than if the rubbish had gone to incinerators or landfill.
Our attempts at recycling are abysmal. The target of 40% by 2010 is pathetic. We should be aiming to recycle at least 80% by 2010. We should also be reducing the waste we generate.
We can only achieve this if local councils work with local communities, not as we are seeing in Rushmoor, against.
This crass 'experiment' has to be stopped before it is introduced. Councillors are elected to act on behalf of the local community, not against.
Rushmoor is introducing fortnightly bin collections as an 'experiment' in the New Year. It is being introduced mid-winter in the hope that residents do not notice the stench of rotting garbage. 7,000 households are being forced to participate as unwilling guinea-pigs in this 'experiment'.
Already, local residents in part of Aldershot have said no. The resistance is growing.
Ruth Bennett, It doesn't add up, letters, Surrey-Hants Star, 16 November 2006
Lester R Brown, Plan B 2.0, Norton, 2006
Steve Doughty, 100 a day fined by bin police, Daily Mail, 11 November 2006
Andrew Milford, Alternate bins plan gets a trial run, Farnborough News, 10 November 2006
Andrew Milford, Opposition mounting to alternate bin collections, Aldershot News, 17 November 2006
Cliff Mogg, Bin services sharing plan, Surrey-Hants Star, 16 November 2006
Nicky Monk, Hopes pinned on trial, Surrey-Hants Star, 9 November 2006
Keith Parkins, Natural Capitalism, October 2000
Keith Parkins, A sense of the masses - a manifesto for the new revolution, October 2003
Keith Parkins, Curitiba – Designing a sustainable city, April 2006
Keith Parkins, Alternate Bin Collections, Indymedia UK, 13 November 2006
Keith Parkins, It's just rubbish, letters, Surrey-Hants Star, 16 November 2006
Retailers promise action on waste, BBC News on-line, 13 November 2006
Stop the Waste, FoE, 2006
Mike Williams, Show us the way, letters, Surrey-Hants Star, 16 November 2006