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

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."

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.

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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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all