The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 August 2007

Has bins

According to the Daily Mail, the Labour government seeks to reduce solid waste by giving you less space to stash it:

Families will be forced to squeeze their rubbish into new extra-small wheelie bins or risk a £1,000 fine under the latest Labour plans to crack down on household waste.

A Government report calls for the nationwide introduction of 'bonsai bins', a little more than half the size of the current 240-litre models, to encourage households to separate their rubbish for recycling.

And the new guidelines warn against letting larger families keep the old big bins because other households might suffer from 'bin envy'.

People who fail to cram all their non-recyclable waste into the 140-litre European-style wheelie bins will face criminal prosecution if they leave extra rubbish on the street in bags.

Emalyse sees this piece as an effort by the newspaper to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt:

Forget the arguments over the merits of recycling (The Mail piece isn't engaged in tackling the broader arguments or offering alternatives) and that the cause of household waste is overpackaging by the supermarkets, reliance of prepackaged microwave meals, the throwaway consumer culture we are all encouraged to be part of (not things that the Mail is likely to attack), this piece is a fine exercise in using FUD to whip up discontent in the readership and crowbar in a 'family under attack' subtext. It's a classic Daily Mail piece that panders to the usual fears and anxieties. The core readership must be foaming at the mouth after finishing their morning paper with sheer indignation and outrage.

FUD is, of course, a time-(dis)honored method of boosting one's commercial profile; Microsoft's Bill Gates is an acknowledged master. Still, this whole "bin envy" concept strikes me as serious projection: as Dr Freud never said, sometimes a bin is just a bin.

Meanwhile, here in the Land of the Free and/or Reasonably Inexpensive:

A second Big Blue is free. If you have more to throw away than even two Big Blues can hold, we offer extra cart service for $2.45 a cart per month.

I have two Big Blues, which hold about 240l each. In the last four years I think I've filled both in a single week twice; there have been several weeks when I didn't haul either of them out to the curb because they weren't sufficiently full to justify the effort. On the other hand, I'm not even considering calling the city and asking them to repossess one of them.

Posted at 6:56 AM to Dyssynergy