Struggling to deal with household waste


Every household is struggling to deal with endless unsolicited junk mail filling up our waste bins. Every newspaper you buy or get through your letterbox is stuffed with advertising leaflets dropping out.

Apart from all the trees being felled to provide this paper, we then have to get rid of it. And the council now says waste paper markets are uneconomic as prices have fallen. What can we do? Can we get the council involved as an advocate for less unsolicited junk?

One way to try and reduce personally addressed junk mail to your door is by registering on the Mailing Preference Service on or (tel: 0207 2913310). But the Post Office now has a money-making wheeze to continue delivering unaddressed junk mail, which businesses pay them to deliver. The only way to try and stop this is to call another number: Door to Door Advertising Mail on 01865 796 956. It’s hard work trying to be green.

It also seems councils around the country have decided on different ways to deal with household waste. Manchester is different to Cheshire in the bin sequence and collection method. Sussex uses a simpler system. You would think that there would be one ‘best practice' system councils would use. But no.

Instead of the old once weekly bin collection, in Cheshire, four fuel guzzling and polluting trucks now come round at different times and days. General waste, bottles and cans, paper and green waste. Unlike Sussex, I noticed the bottles and cans are collected and separated by hand outside each property. It reminds you of a third world waste dump and says little for health and safety of the operatives, some who are not even wearing gloves.

The new waste collection systems can require up to four different coloured wheelie bins in some authorities like Manchester and many residents have got in the habit of leaving these usually brightly coloured waste bins on their drive or by their garage doors rather than hiding them from the view of neighbours. This makes neighbourhoods look littered and scrappy for everyone.

Why can’t the council have a simple campaign to reduce this new habit from growing? Of course, some people in small terraced properties have little choice in where to put all these bins they are required to use.

In Wilmslow, and presumably Cheshire, the council didn’t help when it decided without any consultation with residents to issue every property with large almost industrial sized bins that frail, older people can hardly move.

There was another option to have a smaller more discreet bin, but this was revealed only to those who then complained about the size of the big bins. The council then came round with the smaller bin, in a money wasting exercise that could have been avoided by earlier consultation with residents.

As with my previous articles, the concerns raised are a personal perspective, not necessarily the official policy of the Wilmslow Trust, for which I am vice-chair. But we hope it will get more people thinking about genuine sustainability policies at a local level.

If you would like to comment on these and other local environmental issues, do get in touch via the comment box below or via the Wilmslow Trust website.

If you are interested in exploring other challenging environmental issues see my previous articles looking at the issues of:

Next week I will be discussing the issue of Too many high street drinking sheds?

Waste Disposal