Fortnightly bin collections increase fly-tipping, more than doubled over the last three years, risk becoming an environmental nuisance and pose a serious inconvenience, particularly for larger families. It has emerged, today, that the number of councils only providing fortnightly collection has been rapidly increasing:
"Almost 20 million people have their rubbish taken away only once a fortnight after nearly half of all councils withdrew weekly collections, it has emerged.
Figures released by the Government show people living in 169 council areas now have their refuse collected every other week."
There is little real justification for such draconian measures to increase recycling, which has rather marginal environmental benefits (for more on this see Chapter 5 of our report on green taxes, PDF) and benefits from taxes on landfill, but the European Union has spoken. Its legal threats provide the main rationale for dramatic efforts to increase the amount of waste that is recycled. When policy is set so far from ordinary people practical concerns go out of the window. A lack of accountability means that idealistic schemes are not subjected to the kind of scrutiny that should be expected. 'Experts' prove chronically unable to get things right.
Power needs to be returned to civil society, to ordinary people who can take control of their own lives and then get the kind of services they are entirely right to expect. The rather humble convenience of weekly bin collection is just one example.