Monmouthshire: Binning the need for black bags

Councils certainly need to consult communities when they set restrictions of this kind

Share

It may seem hard to believe it, given the amount of litter one sees strewn on the streets of our towns and cities, but we are becoming far more responsible about the way we deal with the detritus of our throw-away socie

According to the local government association, we recycle 43 per cent of our household waste, which is a tremendous hike on the 13 per cent we recycled just over a decade ago, putting Britain on course to hit the European Union target of 50 per cent by 2020.

How to accelerate this praiseworthy trend – more carrots or more sticks? It is a dilemma confronting many local councils, such as Monmouthshire, which has angered some local people by setting strict limits on the number of general rubbish bags that it will take away in future: a mere two a fortnight.

Many are furious, saying that no one asked them whether they wanted to live in the strictest council in Wales in terms of recycling: Monmouthshire has set its own recycling target of 58 per cent, above the EU requirement, to be reached by 2015/16, before the EU deadline. Opponents have an arsenal of reasons about why it is a bad idea, starting with the increased danger of fly-tipping, which in turn will encourage vermin.

Councils certainly need to consult communities when they set restrictions of this kind. At the same time, simply encouraging people to recycle more of their waste may not be enough. We may feel consumed with virtue as we place our discarded newspapers and tin cans in the designated bins, but as a nation we will be in danger of running out of space to bury our garbage if we do not start recycling a much greater percentage. We recycle more than we did 20 years ago, but we are also buying and throwing out more things than we did then, so the gain is lost. Landfills are also expensive, hideous and environmentally hazardous.

Monmouthshire is on the right track. Getting tough on waste is not a wasted effort.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: how to spell BBQ and other linguistic irregularities

Guy Keleny
 

South Africa's race problem is less between black and white than between poor blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa

John Carlin
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...