We start this roundup in York, where the council is carrying out a review of waste rounds that could see recycling collections change.
As part of the changes, residents could get bigger recycling bins, but collections would move from fortnightly to every 3 weeks or even monthly.
The plans come as part of a wider strategy to encourage residents to recycle more.
The council is considering three options:
1: No changes to collections but an education campaign would run to encourage people to recycle more.
2: No changes to waste collections but recycling rounds would move to once every 3 weeks. Residents would get another recycling box for paper and card and a wheelie bin for plastic, tins, and glass. Garden waste collections would be stepped up to happen once every 3 weeks all year round.
3: No changes to waste collections, but recycling bins would move to once per month. The council will start accepting textiles and batteries for recycling and residents would get a wheelie bin for paper and card, another wheelie bin for plastic, tins, and glass, a box for textiles, and a box for batteries. Garden waste collections would remain at once per fortnight and would run from April to November.
Councillors discussed the options at a meeting, and one said that some residents are concerned that they don’t have the space for extra bins. He also added that giving people bigger bins didn’t necessarily mean that people would recycle more.
Increasing garden collections was also questioned by one councillor who said that a lot of city centre homes would not use them at all, so she wondered if it would be financially viable. Another questioned the need for a monthly textile and battery collection.
The council’s head of environment said he did believe that giving residents bigger bins would encourage them to recycle more and he added that it could save the council hundreds of thousands of pounds per year.
There are also proposals for an app which would let residents know what waste was due to be collected that week.
The feedback given by councillors is now set to be considered by the head of environment and the council’s waste team before any plans are set in motion.
Next we head to Newcastle, where littering in the city’s parks during the recent spell of warm weather have led to calls for the council to reinstall bins. The city’s Town Moor and Heaton Park were left covered with debris last week.
The council removed 2100 smaller bins back in 2017 and replaced them with 800 larger ones which it said would increase bin capacity.
Opposition councillors have urged the council to reinstall the bins as the existing ones are ‘few and far between, and often overflowing.’
While councillors and environmental groups agree that personal responsibility around litter is needed, it has been suggested that large ‘dumpster’ bins or even skips could be put in the parks during periods of warmer weather and on bank holidays.
A council spokesman said it has rolled out 20 more 360 -litre wheelie bins to litter hotspots and that it is still handing out fines to litterbugs. He added that larger bins are not appropriate in some areas because of the risk of fires, from people incorrectly disposing of disposable barbecue for example.
The council has repeated its plea for people to use the bins for litter or to take it home.
Next we go north of the border to Edinburgh, where a disgruntled binman tipped a resident’s rubbish onto a grass verge in front of her home after she complained that her bin had not been collected.
A verbal altercation was recorded between the council worker and the woman, where he appears to tell her that her bin had not been collected because it was contaminated with things that shouldn’t have been in it, like a glass bottle. But the woman tells him that he can’t have known about the bottle before he tipped the rubbish out as it was right at the bottom of the bin.
The argument continues with the binman saying she was ‘putting his job at risk’ but she countered with a claim that this was the fifth time that everyone’s bin had been emptied except for hers.
The woman’s father contacted a local newspaper saying that his daughter had been left in fear after the altercation. He said she has had a problem with the binman for around 18 months now, mainly around her bin not being emptied, and on the day her collection was missed again, she put in a complaint. The binman then turned up at her house later on that day, without his truck or colleagues, and emptied her bin out on the street.
The worker has been moved to work on another route and the council said it is investigating.
Finally, we head to Loggerheads near Market Drayton in Shropshire, where a wheelie unlucky pooch had to be rescued from a wheelie bin when it got stuck. Firefighters had to come and free the poor labrador, and used a saw to cut away part of the bin and set it free. Luckily, the dog wasn’t hurt, but we would love to know how it got in there in the first place!