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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The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
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A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
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Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

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Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution