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To be annoyed with council's '3 black bin bag' rule?

(212 Posts)
sallymanda Tue 25-Feb-14 07:44:46

Now, don't get me wrong, I do recycle and -9 times out of 10- usually manage to put out only one bin bag out a fortnight.

Yesterday, a leaflet came from council stating that no household should put out more than 3 black sacks a fortnight (for those that don't know, black sacks=non-recyclables).

They say that people can have an exemption from this but there are so many problems with this in practicality:

1, How will bin men know?

2, What about houses of multiple occupation? Flats etc.

3, How much detail must be given to have an exemption? What if a person suffers from an illness that means they cannot control bladder/bowels, do they have to tell the council such personal information? Or, as this is mumsnet, have to put out nappies? Which, after all, can't be recycled?

I am also angry at the tone of the leaflet- you'd swear that people were committing murder not putting out their rubbish!!

I mean people PAY council tax- it's not as if it's a free collection service.

All this will mean is rubbish lying around the streets.

I'm annoyed (as you can probably guess!) AIBU?

VivaLeBeaver Tue 25-Feb-14 07:47:33

Well to be honest 3 bags should be plenty - isn't that about wheelie bin size?

We have a wheelie bin, only collected every fortnight. Not allowed to put any other bags out. I was worried at first but we manage.

Pantone363 Tue 25-Feb-14 07:48:35

Just buy huge bin bags

VivaLeBeaver Tue 25-Feb-14 07:49:26

Flats will be different, it'll be 3 bags per household.

The bin men will be told who's exempted and if it's like where my dad lives people with special exemptions are sent a roll of special bin bags. So they can put 3 normal bags out and if they need to put anymore out they have to use the special bag.

We had to tell the council my dad was dying to get extra bags. He was actually dying, we didn't make it up.

ChunkyPickle Tue 25-Feb-14 07:50:03

Agree. Ours is just switching to 2 black sacks every other week, plus blue recyclable sacks every other week, and slop bucket every week.

I don't produce a lot of rubbish, buy stuff out of packets etc. but the storage is the issue, I now have to store DS1s nappies for 2 weeks, they're going to be a bit ripe by the end of it, nappy sacks or not!

TBH they have no way to know which houses the bin bags come from, and there are sure to be occasional weeks (spring cleaning/birthdays/DIY) when I'll have more.

Perhaps I should start doing what I saw a little old lady do when I lived in Spain - every morning she'd wander out of her flat for a coffee, and put a carrier bag full of yesterday's rubbish in the street bin. (just to save herself a walk to the end of the street where the daily collected communal bins were)

sallymanda Tue 25-Feb-14 07:53:06

ChunkyPickle, that's a good point; most people will have 'spring cleaning/sort out days' where there'll be more than 3 black bags even if they recycle cans/bottles. plastics, paper the rest of the time.

So even if you play by the rules, there's punishment.

Sillybillybob Tue 25-Feb-14 07:53:07

Re: medical waste. We recently went to a fortnightly collection. DS has recently finished treatment for cancer. We have an extra bin collected weekly for his additional medical waste - not sharps obviously but all the paraphernalia that we have because he is ill - incontinence sheets etc.

I had to call the council to get it, but just said - this is his diagnosis, we can't possibly get all the rubbish his illness produces weekly in to our normal black bin... Sorted.

Nocomet Tue 25-Feb-14 07:54:26

Three bags is about one wheelie bin, in theory. In practice it would be an utter pain because we squash our wheelie bin contents down really hard and probably get 4 bags plus in.

The real pita with fortnightly collections is if you are away for a few days or forget.

sallymanda Tue 25-Feb-14 07:55:39

I also love the way they use the term 'every other week' instead of 'fortnight'. Very clever. hmm

Sirzy Tue 25-Feb-14 07:58:09

I think for most as long as they make the effort to recycle that should be more than doable. People complained when we were told the council wouldn't take any extra bags ontop of what would fit in a wheelie bin (with lid down) but people manage!

JanePurdy Tue 25-Feb-14 07:58:41

How much do you think rubbish collection costs, out of interest? You referred to council tax, does that actually cover it? Off to google for some answers if I can find them!

TheDoctorsNewKidneys Tue 25-Feb-14 07:58:47

We have this problem - there's no limit on bin bags but the bin lids have to close and we're not allowed to leave extra bags out either. We live in flats and we share our wheelie bin with the chap who runs an office from downstairs. One bin for four adults and a business is not sufficient at all. It's often full by the end of the first week and we then have to store bin bags in our flat - it's unhygienic, tbh.

We don't have a car and the tip is over two miles away so there's no other way of getting rid of it. We recycle what we can, but we don't have a food bin so it's just blue and black. We also have cats so kitty litter goes in too, plus old food and non-recyclable packaging. We asked the council for an extra bin (ie. one for us, one for the chap below) and they basically told us "tough luck!" hmm

JanePurdy Tue 25-Feb-14 08:07:27

A rough guess at costs from some googling - £270 to dispose of a tonne of household waste in landfill (£60 to dispose of a tonne of compostable waste!). Each person produces on average 400kg of waste a year, so I reckon a 4 person household produces more than a tonne of waste a year - so the council pays twice what my household pays in council tax to deal with it.

As far as I am concerned, we have to reduce our current rates of waste - it's unsustainable - & while I think a big part if that has to be pressure on companies to change packaging etc part of it has to be us individuals changing our ways too & that will probably be uncomfortable for some people initially.

MrsSparkles Tue 25-Feb-14 08:12:17

I used to take DD's nappies to the nearest public bin in the summer, or once every 2 weeks was pretty horrid. But I think if you're recycling properly 3 bags is plenty.

sallymanda Tue 25-Feb-14 08:16:26

I'm impressed by the thinking outside the box of some mumsnetters! Taking rubbish to nearest bin. Next time-because there will be a next time- I have more than 3 bags, that's what I will do.

sallymanda Tue 25-Feb-14 08:17:50

Britain's nuts; other countries must be looking at us and thinking we're daft to put up with this kind of c***.

ShadowFall Tue 25-Feb-14 08:19:34

I sympathise with your annoyance. We have wheelie bins here, they switched to fortnightly collection about 2 years ago. They increased recycling capacity at the same time - gave everyone recycling wheelie bins instead of the old tiny recycling bags - so it's usually just about doable. Although the rubbish wheelie bin really stinks by the time collection day comes around, as we currently have nappies from 2 DC going in there.

And we can fit more than 3 black bin bags in our wheelie bin, even without squashing them down.

The biggest problem I have with fortnightly collections is what happens if you're away for a few days over the collection day. We were away for a few days in December, so missed the recycling collection day. It's now the end of February, and we still haven't managed to catch up on the backlog of recyclable waste. Although admittedly, Christmas really didn't help there.

NadiaWadia Tue 25-Feb-14 08:23:12

Wow, 3 a fortnight? How will you manage? We are allowed 3 black bags a week (still have weekly collections, touch wood this continues). I normally put out 2 or 3 a week, but one is full from cleaning out the guinea pigs. I do recycling too.

ThoughtFox Tue 25-Feb-14 08:23:28

Kids seem to generate a huge amount of rubbish, don't they? I always notice that my neighbours, with 3 children, throw away far more black bin rubbish than the equivalent number of adults. (Becase I normally rescue an overflowing bin bag or two from them and pop it in our nearly-empty bin.)

I have absolutely no idea what they're putting in there!

Sirzy Tue 25-Feb-14 08:23:54

If your away then surely you say to a neighbour "can you stick the bin out for us?"

MiniSoksMakeHardWork Tue 25-Feb-14 08:25:50

I have to say it does seem to depend on councils. Our county gets three wheelie bins. If there are 6+ in a household you can get an extra recycling wheelie bin at no extra charge. We have weekly collections but different bins on different weeks. Ie week one is green (general waste), week two is blue (recycling) and brown (compostable waste - food, card, garden). Food waste goes every week because one week we put it in our green bin, the next our brown bin wrapped in newspaper/paper bags.

Thankfully we do qualify for two recycle bins and even with crushing everything, we can easily fill two of them. Plus if we have overspill the bin men will take up to two of the council issued recycling bags per bin.

As for general waste not going, at its worst when we were going through an awful lot of nappies, I found by making sure these were on top, even if the lid was slightly open the bin men would empty it. I think having a frank conversation with our council about the disposal of such waste when we got our second recycle bin helped.

sallymanda Tue 25-Feb-14 08:26:00

NadiaWadi, may I ask, are you in the UK?

Dishaster Tue 25-Feb-14 08:26:11

I'm more annoyed that our council have just changed the days of collection. They changed it six months ago, I have four bins, different days, different weeks. I just got used to it. Add now they go out on different days and different weeks again!!!

NadiaWadia Tue 25-Feb-14 08:26:50

Yes, Midlands. All the other local councils surrounding us have gone fortnightly.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Tue 25-Feb-14 08:33:24

We have fortnightly collections, blue recycling bin and black waste bin.

There is a block of garages at the end of the road and fly tipping has started to take place since the council began to charge £30 for additional waste uplifts, which used to be free. The house which backs onto us was recently sold and renovated, over a ton of rubbish was dumped round the corner in the space of three weeks.

I'd really like to see how much fly tipping cleanup costs have increased since they imposed this rule.

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