Research from a UK waste management agency, BusinessWaste.co.uk, has shown that households, struggling with collection times and space in their normal household bins, are turning to extreme measures in order to ditch their rubbish.
Many local authorities have seen drastic cuts to their budget in recent years, meaning that services such as refuse collection have been slashed – and households are bearing the brunt. However, rubbish collections are one area where citizens are prepared to pay the price for improvements. A Sky Data poll showed that 54% of Britons would prefer that their council tax went towards more frequent bin collections than the legal minimum], suggesting that cuts have been keenly felt in this area – and that the mounting waste pile is a big issue for Britons.
Looking for space to store their waste, some households are resorting to buying extra waste bins via online retailers such as Amazon.
Jen, 37, from Nottingham, laughed: “With three kids, we get through a lot of rubbish. Collections every fortnight mean we end up with bin bags piling up outside and I worry about rats or foxes being tempted into our garden. We bought a second bin online and none of the bin men have ever complained, so it’s solved my problems!”
While this might seem like an easy fix, some Britons have gone one step further – with some people reporting that keen-eyed teens are seeing the chance to make a quick profit off desperate households.
Jamie 38 from Leeds admitted: “When some local kids offered to sell me a ‘spare’ bin for twenty quid, I didn’t think twice. I needed the space and where they got it from isn’t really my problem. I’ve seen people Facebook groups selling them so loads of people must be doing it.”
While this might seem like a bargain, with brand new bins costing between £50 and £150, it seems some of these wannabe entrepreneurs are simply turning to theft to make some cash, stealing bins from other homes in the areas, including empty houses and those whose residents are on holiday.
Of course, thrifty Britons might like to avoid bin-related issues altogether – and save themselves some cash.
Mark Hall BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson, commented: “While it could be tempting for households to ‘acquire’ another bin, by legitimate – or otherwise – means, there’s plenty that can be done to reduce the load in their main rubbish bin. Ensuring proper recycling can often see a dramatic reduction in the waste going to their main rubbish bin – which goes to landfill instead of being re-used – and, once it’s part of your routine, it takes no time at all.
“Just recycling your cardboard and plastics – which is now simple and accommodated by councils across the UK – can reduce your main bin loads by up to 60%, meaning that you’re not struggling when it comes to fortnightly collections.”
Of course, avoiding rubbish piling up in your garden isn’t the only goal.
Hall added: “While it will benefit households to recycle more, because they won’t find themselves struggling for space, it is also a much wider issue. Not only will it help local authorities, who struggle with high landfill fees and penalties for poor recycling rates, meaning you can help avoid further cuts to services, it is also an environmental issue.
“Every single piece of rubbish that goes to recycling rather than landfill, particularly plastics, has a cumulative effect that can help slow the damaging effects of rampant waste disposal. We can make an enormous difference by making tiny changes to our routine – it’s time we actually made those changes.”