The Beaver (12A)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster

'They tell us recycling is good for us. Garbage'

Fortnightly collections, zero waste targets, recycling panic – the battle of the bins is raging. Our relationship with rubbish means we won't be told when or how to toss, argues John Walsh

Andy Atkins: Fortnightly rubbish rounds <i>are</i> a good thing

The news that fortnightly collections are here to stay has delighted both green campaigners and cash-strapped councils. Independent research showed that reverting to weekly bin collections would have cost councils – and taxpayers – £530m over four years. It would also have led to a drop of about 5 per cent in England's recycling and an increase in overall waste levels.

Mary Dejevsky: Fortnightly rubbish rounds <i>are not</i> a good thing

The once-every-two-weeks rubbish collection is a concept that supposedly derives from green concerns, but ends up giving greenery a bad name. The official sales pitch goes like this. We, you and everyone all want to be environmentally responsible, reduce waste and save the planet. So we, the council, will give you, the resident, a variety of colour-coded containers, a list of instructions almost as complicated as an application for a bank account ("it's money laundering, you know"), and halve the number of bin collections. The rubbish lorries will make fewer trips, spewing out less pollution. Once every resident has been re-educated into recycling to the highest of German standards, then hey presto: the planet will be one small step closer to being saved and we can all congratulate ourselves on being true friends of the Earth.

Government dumps promise to provide weekly bin collections

Eric Pickles declared last year: "It's a basic right for every Englishman and woman to be able to put the remnants of their chicken tikka masala in their bin without having to wait two weeks for it to be collected."

Government accused of bins u-turn

The Government was accused of performing a U-turn on rubbish collections today after it was revealed councils will not be forced to bring back weekly bin rounds.

Video: Commons bin debate gets spicy

Shadow environment minister Jamie Reed kicks of a 'heated' debate about waste collection but we think they're a little hungry!

Viridor buys family-owned Storm Recycling for &#163;1.7m

Viridor Waste Management, part of the utility company Pennon, has bought a family-ownedrecycling business for £1.7m.

Carte Blanche, By Jeffery Deaver

It has fallen to a US thriller writer to re-issue 007's license to kill. How does he handle this most English of gentleman spies?

Beauty and the Inferno, By Roberto Saviano

An offer one cannot refuse

The 10 best picture frames

From recycled materials, to digital screens, to bling that could rival a royal tiara, there’s a frame style for everyone. Get the picture?

Baby girl found dead at waste site

The body of a newborn baby girl has been found at a waste management site.

The Sketch: Willetts' policy debacle managed to make even the Lib Dems look good

"Right – increasing Lib Dem self esteem. Proposal one. Let's get some ministerial monkey to say he's writing a White Paper for the return of apprenticeships for separating litter, or getting the homeless to build their own hovels on landfill sites. Give him a day of media. Then let Nick Clegg demand the policy gets pulled – result!"

The 10 best kitchen bins

Whether your focus is recycling, simple disposal or an odour-free environment, these are the best bins to suit the needs of the most demanding of kitchens...

 

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform