In addition to the incredible space this system requires, some of the townsfolk are complaining about managing the system.The new bin system by Newcastle-under-Lyme Council, north Staffordshire, includes a silver slop bucket for food waste, which is then emptied into a larger, green outdoor bin.
There is a pink bag for plastic bottles, a blue box for glass, foil, tins and aerosols, a green bag for cardboard and blue bags for paper and magazines.
Clothing and textiles go in a white bag, garden waste in a wheelie bin with a brown lid and non-recyclable waste in a separate grey wheelie bin.
Samantha Dudley, 34, added: “I’m used to organising things with two children but even I find juggling nine different recycling bags and bins difficult. I dread to think how elderly people get on.”
So why this onerous increase in recycling?
Councils have been coming under increasing demands to reduce levels of domestic waste, with growing taxes on landfill space and the possibility of fines if they do not meet European Union targets from 2013.
But without a secondary market for recycled materials, sorting one’s trash is simply adding the value of your time and efforts to the trash. Even when the economy is strong, the market for recyclables, except metals, is pathetically weak. When the economy is weak, that already dismal market weakens as well. So if there is no real market for these materials, where exactly does the value-added trash go? The Telegraph article doesn’t address that, but based on my 15 year old inquiries, I would guess it gets landfilled somewhere, rendering this practice merely a costly exercise in forced behavior modification.
Bin police are used across Britain to ensure recycling regulations are met, with the threat of £100 spot fines for those who overfill bins, leave extra rubbish bags out or put bins out on the wrong day.
So why are the complaints seemingly limited to management and space issues when their very individual rights are threatened, “Non-payment of the fines can result in the culprit being taken to court, where they could be given a £1,000 fine,” for non-compliance? Why are they not fighting this on principle?
Sure, the title of this post started with the absurdity of a nine bin mandated recycling program, but I couldn’t help but make a deeper connection between it and the inspiration for the title of Geraldine Brooks’ book, Nine Parts of Desire. In her book, Brooks quotes Ali ibn Abu Taleb, the historic leader of the Shiite movement, who justified covering women from head to toe thusly, ”Almighty God created sexual desire in ten parts; then he gave nine parts to women and one to men.”
The "success" of both systems rely on a population which has accepted an unearned guilt for living.