Recycling Household Waste And Totalitarian Control

I received a communication from the Local Authority today. The main subject was the Council Tax and the Council budget, but there were a few leaflets included in the envelope. One concerned waste collection. It is easy to see that many householders and council tax payers could have easily thrown away the leaflets without reading them. I probably would have done so had my daughter not alerted me to the waste collection leaflet. That leaflet, with not attribution to an authority department, or any contact details, or any specific person who originated it, told me that our grey bin, which is for general, un-recyclable rubbish was to be replaced. We have four bins, all of which have a capacity of 240 litres. The grey bin is for general rubbish, the burgundy bin is for glass and plastic bottles, the green bin is for food and garden waste, and the beige bin is for paper and cardboard. The grey bin is emptied fortnightly on its own and the other bins are emptied in the intervening weeks. As far as I know, everyone was happy.

The Authority has decided that the 240 litre grey, general rubbish, bins will be replaced by 140 litre bins.

Once upon a time, we had dust bins. Everyone had coal fires and the vast majority of waste was burnt. What went into the dust bin was the ash from the fires. That was why they were called ‘dust’ bins. Even left-over food went onto the fire because it burned. The left-over food was therefore not wasted – it was converted into heat to warm the house. Everything that could burn was burnt. The contents of the dustbins were almost always small. Few household produced lots of ash from burning all their rubbish. Dustbins were emptied weekly. As far as I know, everyone was happy.

So everyone has been happy – provided that arrangements were sensible.

But then comes the totalitarian push. Not nudge, but push. Regardless of your household’s needs, you will comply with the new edict. You will have only a maximum of 140 litres of general rubbish per fortnight instead of a maximum if 240 litres per fortnight. And here is the ultimate kick in the teeth – you cannot complain. There is no means by which you can complain. If you are not happy, then you can apply for a visit from a ‘recycling officer’. Form now on, your maximum fortnightly quantity of rubbish is 140 litres, regardless of your circumstances. Thus, a family of four has no greater allowance than a widow on her own.

But it gets worse. Let us suppose that, in one particular period of a fortnight, you acquire more rubbish than normal and you put out a black sack, tied up and not ripped, alongside your ‘slimmer’ grey bin, you will be accused of ‘fly tipping’ and face possible prosecution. That threat is in the notice.

All household waste presented for collection must be contained within your grey bin. Loose rubbish placed on the highway will be considered fly tipping and will not be collected by the council

If you don’t dispose of your waste correctly you could be issued with a fixed penalty or face prosecution


I have to complain, even though the notice does not tell me how I can complain. I do not want a visit from a recycling officer. I am not simple minded. I know what to recycle and I have no objection to doing it. What I want is enough capacity to get rid of my rubbish. My wife is disabled by MS. We have twice weekly visits from the district nurses to replace dressings. The nurses wear aprons and gloves and the new dressings come in packaging. All that stuff is general waste and cannot be recycled. We have daily changes of urine collection bags. All that waste will at least half fill the ‘slimmer’ grey bin.

So will I ask for a visit from a Recycling Officer? ABSOLUTELY NOT! This is clearly a case where a direct approach to one’s Local Elected Councillor is in order. As far as our family is concerned, the answer to the problem is simple – give us two bins. We may not use both bins in any given fortnight, but we have them if we need them.


But in a wider sense, I am becoming more and more annoyed about being expected to be an unpaid worker for the local authority, or for the Government. There are implications which are not easy to see. For example, it is not easy to see that the exiling of smokers to the outdoors is intended to force smokers to reduce the costs of the NHS. And yet that idea is blatantly true. Tobacco smoke in pubs causes employees to get sick. There is no proof whatsoever that that is true, and yet it is the reason for the smoking ban everywhere indoors. WORKERS get sick and deplete NHS resources, and so smokers have to be exiled to the outdoors.

As I see it, the whole anti-smoker prohibitionist crusade is a circular argument, and that the Tobacco Control Industry has got away with it for decades. I do not understand why generations of MPs have been so servile. It can only be because the easy way is to agree with smoking bans etc. It might be better to describe the TCI argument as a spiralling argument than as a circular argument. That is, for the purpose of this post, a circulating argument is in two dimensions, whereas a spiralling argument is in three dimensions.


My little homily about bins is illustrative of the increasing authoritarian nature of the people that we elect to office. They do not wish to serve – they wish to direct. If that were not so, then they would vote in council against the totalitarian edicts. JUST SAY NO! It is easy to just say NO! And yet Councillors seem to find it impossible to do so. I think that they are cowards.




8 Responses to “Recycling Household Waste And Totalitarian Control”

  1. elenamitchell Says:

    People must be fed up with hearing about how much better it is in France. But it is.
    We have three very large bins for Paper, Plastic and Glass, mainly Bottles, of course. I have to drive a short distance to those if I don’t feel like walking, although I could.
    Then we have two or three ordinary wheelie bins, depending on need, for household rubbish, which get empty every week like clockwork. Although no one gets done for the odd things that should go into the recycling bins.
    However, Recycling is generally a matter of honour.
    Then there’s The Tip for anything else, like Garden rubbish, Metal and Fridges and such.
    It’s all so easy. No one has anything to complain about.

  2. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Whats the French view on plain packaging Elena ? I understand the French are introducing this nonsense ,the same as the UK in May. I’ll be on my annual trip to France in June. I wonder if i’ll still be able to buy my Gitanes in the local tabac ?

  3. elenamitchell Says:

    I don’t know, Timothy, I haven’t heard a word about. But I’ll ask my friend.
    Both he and I smoke cigarette tobacco with one of those Tube machines, so that should be fun if it is true.
    I shall have to keep an old, empty packet to show to them. although they mostly know what I buy anyway.
    But what on earth good do they think it will do?

    • Timothy Goodacre Says:

      Its all very sad Elena !

      • elenamitchell Says:

        It’s all raving barking, Timothy. They think I can’t find a packet of Tobacco in a Bar Tabac?
        Apart from far too much Eau de Vie in your coffee at 8 o’clock in the morning.
        That’s what they do, you know, along with the local Constabulary.

        But each to his own, as they say in France.

      • junican Says:

        The Zealots claimed a great victory when they got tobacco hidden behind sliding doors, but their victories are empty ones. The staff know what fags are where and just slide the doors back and reach into to appropriate section. Nothing has changed. PP will be the same. It will not matter. In fact, the more gory the pictures on the packets, the less effect their lecturing will have. The human mind can take only so much ‘bad news’ before it switches off. That is when all the adverts for smoking plastered all over everywhere, which say, ‘NO SMOKING’ are wonderful publicity for tobacco companies. Everything that TC do nowadays is wonderful publicity and has no effect on smoking levels.

  4. garyk30 Says:

    “Tobacco smoke in pubs causes employees to get sick.”

    Seems that there are govt agencies that are tasked with determining what is the safe level of contaminants in the air that workers breathe or are exposed to.

    Since none of those agencies have placed restrictions on the number of cigs that can be smoked at any one time in ANY workplace, bans are about a problem that does not exist.

    Of course, the antis are terrified of there being a permissible level of smoking in any workplace.

    • junican Says:

      Very logical, Gary. It is of course true. They say that there is no safe level of tobacco smoke. They might as well say that there is also no unsafe level of tobacco smoke since OSHA (?) has not made such a determination. Neither has the Health and Safety Exec here in the UK. There is no UNSAFE level of SHS.

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