In common I’m sure with others who live in the wheelie bin pilot areas, we have today had a leaflet advertising a wheelie bin cleaning service.
The company will come on bin day and clean your wheelie bin at a cost of £3 per bin (£5 for two) if you have them cleaned regularly every fortnight or month, or £6.50 per bin on a one off basis.
I admire these companies for seeing a business opportunity, but as we are able, we shall continue cleaning our bins ourselves at the moment.
Their leaflet states that wheelie bins help local Councils improve recycling rates. This wholly depends on what service the Council was providing before. In Birmingham we (in the wheelie bin pilot areas) have moved from a system where you could put out unlimited quantities of recycling, to a system where you can only put out what fits in the bin. The lid must close and originally no side waste of recycling (i.e. extra left beside the bin) was allowed. After numerous complaints, extra paper is now allowed if bundled neatly. But you cannot put out extra multi material recycling.
Up till now, Birmingham has allowed people to put out as much green waste as they like. From next spring, thanks to Labour, Birmingham households will not be able to out any green garden waste recycling at all, unless they pay £35 per annum. Even then, they will only be able to put out what will fit in the one wheelie bin they will be given. Again, no side waste will be allowed. The amount of this type of recycling which is collected is likely to fall dramatically.
So we in Birmingham will have moved from a system where you could put out unlimited amounts or recycling, to one where you are limited. Hardly a way to increase recycling rates.
The leaflet also states that wheelie bins are a breeding ground for germs, flies and maggots. Flies apparently lay their eggs inside and around the rims of wheelie bins. They also talk about dirty wheelie bins giving off offensive odours, and I’ve already heard that from one resident.
Of course, the company involved are trying to sell their cleaning services so naturally will be drawing people’s attention to why they should be cleaned. Nevertheless I’ve done a bit of research on the net and there are indeed reports relating to this subject – and which point out the huge amount of times the germs multiply between weekly and fortnightly rubbish collections.
The Conservative controlled administration in Birmingham (pre 2012) were always adamant we would not introduce fortnightly collections. The Conservative controlled Government has provided Birmingham the money to ensure the Labour Council keep weekly collections too, but when the money runs out or if we have a change of Government, I am not confident that the Labour Council (if they are still in control) will keep weekly collections in Birmingham. If we ever do go fortnightly, the increase in germs may mean the bin cleaning companies will see an increase in people wanting their bins professionally cleaned.