21 Sep 2006

The New Rubbish Regime

On the 29th of August 2006, Cllr. Gary Hopkins stated in a letter to the EP that kitchen waste collected from Bristol Streets in June was “already being used on Somerset fields” as fertilizer. In other words, he said that the process of composting took less than ten weeks.

However on 12th of September the EP talked to the company in Dorset that is dealing with Bristol’s composting. They reported that it is currently only being used in Dorset and that the total time from start to finish of their composting process is over 4 months!

As a keen gardener I have never been able to create home compost in less than a year. If Cllr. Hopkins has some secret knowledge or method by which we could all produce compost in about two months, would he please share this knowledge at least with the gardeners and allotment holders of Bristol if not the company he chose to do our recycling?

Surely this will encourage many more people to try home composting, which is one of his stated aims?


Question: What has been your experience of the new recycling regime?

UPDATE: 31st of October 2006
The outcry across the city about the green bins with their covert surveillance device (the spy-chip) has made the Lib Dem lead council back down and offer paper green bags instead. At least with the bags you only need to use it as often as you have garden waste, but they are still charging you for collecting them, unlike other neighbouring councils.

Angelo says: “Please go back to weekly collections for black bins!” I have personally seen around St George West the public health hazard that has been the result of the two-weekly collection. The only happy creatures are the maggots, rats seagulls and foxes that are feasting on it.

UPDATE: 11th of November 2006

It was pointed out to me (as I do not tend to read that news paper) that in the Daily Mail today:

“The scrapping of weekly collections has caused alarm and fears over hygiene and health.

This autumn Defra has belatedly, ordered an inquiry into the health implications of fortnightly collections.”

In my household we have a phrase for this “Good morning Athens!” Of course the winter will suppress this situation somewhat but I ask you who is looking forward to our next summer of bi-weekly collections?


How to Stop Junk Mail!
Save trees and help our postmen and women. You may not know that the majority of Royal Mail deliveries are now junk mail. Our postal workers have signed contracts, that if they refuse to deliver anything they will be sacked, but you can help them and yourself from being deluged by this junk: send an A4 sae to: Door_To_Door Opt-Outs, Royal Mail Kingsmead House, Oxpens Road, Oxford OX1 1RX or contact me and I will give you one of their forms and you will have less to put in your bins!


  1. I am unhappy with the two weekly pickup of our rubbish and the maggots and flies that come with it. Don't we pay enough council tax? Also, I agree that we should not now be asked to pay more for garden waste.

  2. Maybe the fortnightly collections aren't working, but we need do something to reduce the amount of waste we produce. A lot of stuff that people are thowing out could be recycled if only people would make the effort.

  3. I find the new recycling scheme over complicated. Its a real effort to do it. So much so that I regard it as unpaid work. Furthermore I wonder if all the water and washing up liquid I use in preparing rubbish for disposal costs more energy than is saved by recycling. I worked in the waste industry for a little while and at the time there was a lot of talk of building recycling into the manufacturing process - ie making cars etc easy to recyle by design. I believe that car manufacturers have indeed attempted to do this. On the other hand supermarkets dont seem to do this with their packaging. There is a movement to get consumers to buy products produced locally that have less transportation energy wasted. Local produce is likely to require less packaging. I wonder if there is anything local government can do to encourage this, or would that be interfering in commercial matters?