Eric Pickles wants to rid the streets of wheelie binsThe idea of pristine, streamlined houses lining a community road can be both nostalgic and comforting, but unfortunately this sight is no longer like the movies. Wheelie bins line the sidewalks and alleys of businesses, leaving them looking unsightly and unorganised, according to MP Eric Pickles. Eric Pickles has raised his voice to speak for the people against these eyesores.

One may imagine this to be an overreaction, as a couple of wheelie bins are no real issue. However, there is not just the visual impact of a single wheelie bin and recycle box besides the house. Some businesses may have up to ten at a time lining the sidewalks, being both unsanitary and unsightly. Eric has come up with a revolutionary solution to this problem that may change the community landscape forever...Ok we exaggerate slightly but Mr Pickles has come up with an idea.

His thoughts are that the only solution is for the designers and builders of homes to create special rooms or compartments built into homes which would store these wheelie bins so that they do not permanently live on neighbourhood streets and alleys. "Carefully planned bin storage is, therefore, important. Each dwelling should have enough storage space for all the different types of bin used in the local authority area” he said. Mr Pickles also explained that bins ruin the aesthetic quality of a neighbourhood, which can greatly impact the local housing market. No one wants to buy a new home in an area littered with wheelie bins by the dozens. However, this issue spans beyond simply looks; having so many bins in such a close space leads to issues with litter ending up on the streets. With limited resources to clean up this litter, it is left to cause problems like rodents and odours.

Though his cause is admirable, there is much controversy over both his ability to make this change and his previous failures related to the housing market. During Eric Pickles’ time as a Member of Parliament he has presided over a dwindling number of new homes being built. Hilary Benn has criticised that there has not been such a low number of built houses since the early 1920s, and that his idea is not revolutionary but obvious. Pickles has attempted to make such changes in the past, and created plans to convince current counsellors to change the collection arrangement of bins.

However, the plan was a flop considering he only managed to persuade a single counsellor. Eric Pickles, however, counters that residents have to pay a large council tax and deserve to get their money’s worth in the form of efficient waste collection and the proper storage of wheelie bins. There have been many issues surrounding wheelie bins, including motions that would allow local councils to fine homeowners for putting rubbish in the wrong bins. There were promises that this would be scrapped, but the fine stands at £1000, which is a pretty substantial fine.

We can see Mr Pickles point of view if your neighborhood looks like a rubbish tip then naturally more litter will be dropped, Wheelie bin storagethus cause people to treat the local area with more disrespect leading to more anti-social behaviour and other crime. The problem is the solution, is it fair to only build these shelters into new build houses? Currently home owners can purchase plastic or wooden bin shelters for around £50 for a single shelter or £90 for a double shelter if you have 2 wheelie bins. Undoubtedly these shelters do help to keep homes looking smarter and it would be interesting to do a trial on a whole neighborhood having these shelters to see how it affected peoples attitudes towards their neighborhood. Whether there was any effect of having the wheelie bins hidden away in shelters that leads to cleaner streets in general.