February 16th, 2018

Institutional failure? Environmental health and monthly bin collections

by Peter Jones   Last week, the Daily Express ran a story warning of the dire consequences of the planned introduction of monthly residual waste collections in Conwy, North Wales. Reducing collection frequencies would lead to a variety of ills such as swarms of rats and flies, unpleasant odours and a surge in fly-tipping, the […]


January 6th, 2017

What’s behind the rise in three-weekly rubbish collections?

by Peter Jones   Three-weekly residual waste collections are on the rise, but remain highly controversial. Their introduction has been heralded by stories of over-spilling bins, growing populations of rats, and people buying “top-up” collections from opportunist private bin companies – in fact, all of the same ill-founded fears that were raised about fortnightly collections. […]


March 11th, 2016

Rejected out of hand? Media stories on contamination and rats

by Peter Jones   Media coverage of recycling hasn’t got off to a great start in 2016. After a short hiatus following my tussle with Richard Littlejohn last year, my complaints activity has unfortunately had to kick into overdrive. For the time being I’ll focus on four stories with which I’ve been able to make […]


August 23rd, 2013

Squeeze me gently

Baa Baa Black sheep pg 8

by Paul Jones   As every child knows, Baa Baa black sheep had three bags full of wool. But if she lived in Monmouthshire and decided she wanted to throw them away, she would now be thwarted under the council’s recently announced plan to allow households only two bags of residual waste per fortnight. I […]


August 2nd, 2013

Malta-ed perceptions

Malta bring site_small

by Adrian Gibbs   When visiting an old city with a rich and troubled past it is hard not to get swept up in the grand, complex and often frightening history that has shaped the landscape, culture and administration. Fortunately, most guidebooks include an abridged history to introduce the grand names and great episodes of […]


February 27th, 2013

DCLG’s weak collection fund

Canute rebukes his courtiers

by James Fulford   It’s possible that Eric Pickles expected the Weekly Collection Support Scheme to provide a permanent boost to his popularity. After years in which local government had cut the frequency of rubbish collection, much to the chagrin of the Daily Mail, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government must have […]


March 5th, 2012

Pickles’ free lunch

All you can eat

by James Fulford   Eric Pickles’ Weekly Collection Support Scheme reminds me for some reason of an under-stocked all-you-can-eat buffet. Local authorities that commit to collect refuse weekly for the next five years will be invited to fill their boots, whilst those with fortnightly refuse collection wishing to provide a weekly food waste service, will […]