Recycling the bin v bag debate

PUBLISHED: 14:41 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

Are you for the bin...

Are you for the bin...

I M VERY sorry but I m going to add my two-penn orth to what appears to have become The Great Bin Debate. You might have noticed that the issue of bins and bin bags, particularly in Stevenage, has become something of a regular feature in The Comet recentl

Or do you prefer the bag?

I'M VERY sorry but I'm going to add my two-penn'orth to what appears to have become The Great Bin Debate.

You might have noticed that the issue of bins and bin bags, particularly in Stevenage, has become something of a regular feature in The Comet recently.

First there was the row over whether it was residents or binmen (are we still allowed to call them that?) who were dumping huge piles of bin bags right in the middle of the path.

Now it is whether or not Stevenage should still have bin bags or get with the 21st century and have wheelie bins.

As you've probably guessed, I'm firmly on the side of the wheelie bin.

I lived in Stevenage for three years and I found black sacks to be really heavy to put out every week.

We didn't have side access to our house, so we had to lug the bags through the living room, cue lots of bin juice dripping on the laminate flooring.

With three adults living in the house, we ended up with a lot of rubbish and generally had two or three sacks stuck in the garage for several days each week - I'm sure the local vermin must have loved us.

Wheelie bins are cumbersome for some people to store and move around, depending on where you live, but they're 100 times more hygienic than black sacks, which can split or be torn by animals so easily.

And then there's the environmental factor - how un-ecofriendly is it to have all those thousands of plastic bags going into a landfill each week?

Mind you, Stevenage Borough Council has never been all that bothered about being environmentally friendly in my experience.

When I moved to the town in 2002, the only kerbside recycling facility which existed was a fortnightly paper collection.

Having come from Mid Beds, where the district council had been collecting recyclables since 1998, this was a bit of a shock to the system.

Amid a blaze of publicity, a twin tub collection for glass, paper and cans arrived shortly after we moved in, but in my opinion while it was welcome, it was too little too late.

Four years on from that, there is still no kerbside facility for recycling plastic (you know, the really horrible stuff that takes forever to break down) in Stevenage, or in North Herts either, for that matter.

When I was in Germany nearly 15 years ago, people were really into their recycling and had several bins in their kitchens to separate out different types of rubbish.

It's shameful this country has only really started recycling in the last decade and even more shameful that our facilities are still, for the most part, very limited.

If I still lived in Stevenage I'd be pestering the borough council for a wheelie bin, but more than that I'd be bugging them almost daily to pull their fingers out and take recycling seriously.

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