French-owned Sita UK poised to land £900m waste deal

French-owned utility firm Sita UK is set to take over the disposal of rubbish in west London in a £900 million scheme that will mean 300,000 tonnes of trash a year are no longer sent to landfill.

'Severe' blaze hits Birmingham's Smurfit Kappa paper mill

Ten thousand tons of cardboard has been burning through the night in a “severe” fire at a paper mill.

Birmingham council asked about sexual orientation and religion in survey on waste and recycling

Er... why? Birmingham council wheelie bin survey asks: Are you gay, straight or bisexual?

A council survey on wheelie bins which asked residents about their sexual orientation has been branded a waste of taxpayers' money by politicians.

Top of the pots: You don't need a garden to grow your own vegetables

Tomatoes, potatoes, even courgettes, are perfectly happy in pots says our green-fingered correspondent.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says it is already moving to curb the overcapacity threat for incinerators

UK incinerator plans? They're just rubbish

As garbage-burning plants proliferate, Britain could end up with too little waste to put in them

A load of old rubbish? Council to remove bins because they collect the wrong type of litter

The affluent London borough of Kensington and Chelsea is removing litter bins claiming they attract the wrong kind of rubbish

Analysis of official figures showed that in the past two years nine of the 10 councils with the biggest improvements in recycling pick up non-recyclable waste fortnightly

Battle of the bins: Defra stats show fortnightly refuse collections INCREASES recycling

The battle of the bins has broken out again after analysis of Government figures showed that collecting refuse fortnightly - a policy considered by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to be rubbish – increases recycling.

Eric Pickles plays to the (closed) gallery

In revealing hidden depths of philistinism, the Communities Secretary riled leftie intellectuals and aped a populist suspicion of the arts

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse – Review

Stewie takes on his evil half-brother Bertram in Heavy Iron Studios’ warped cartoon shooter.

Smashing contract for Shanks as Heineken goes green

The waste management group Shanks has won a contract to recycle 15,000 tons of glass for the brewer Heineken – the equivalent of nine million 330ml bottles.

Not just clutter: 'Between the Ears' on Radio 3 looked at downsizing

The Week in Radio: Moved by the memories of those who can't let go

"This is my life, I can't just throw it away," said an elderly woman in Radio 3's Between the Ears, the panic rising in her voice. She was in process of moving into sheltered housing, and the prospect of reducing her worldly goods was making her ill. She had, she explained, just spent three days in hospital.

Laurie Armantrading, pictured outside Suffolk House in Palmers Green

Mentally ill people being left homeless despite available housing says charity

Mentally ill people are being left homeless despite there being available housing, a leading charity has said.

Crews tackle the blaze at Little Warley, near Brentwood

World's biggest chip pan fire: 160,000 litres of cooking oil sends cloud of smoke over Essex

65 firefighters with fifteen appliances tackle blaze with a pall that can be seen for miles

Tony Evans, football editor of The Times highlighted the greatest scourge in modern football – fans using the Beach Boys’ (pictured) “Sloop John B” as the basis for almost all of their chants.

It's time to hoist up the John B's sail

For some fans, the biggest problem in modern football might be diving, racism, players' salaries and high ticket costs.

Northstowe in south Cambridgeshire would be the biggest new town since Milton Keynes

Green light for biggest new town since Milton Keynes

Building work on Northstowe in south Cambridgeshire could start in 2013

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home