Bin bureaucracy is a bit rubbish

14 November 2013

In Cheshire, it seems that you’d better not put garden waste into your garden waste bin, otherwise there’ll be trouble from the BIN POLICE.


Zoe Eckersley scraped the pumpkin seeds out of her children’s Halloween pumpkin and put them in her green bin. But on collection day, it remained untouched, save for a yellow form, telling her that her bin was ‘contaminated’ with food waste. Ms Eckersley, the well-heeled wife of a property developer, is up in arms.

‘If I'd put the seeds in with the general waste, everything would have been taken away as normal, but because I tried to do the right thing I've got a full green bin which no-one will collect.’ She raged.

She will now have to wait until spring to have her green bin emptied, or drive the rotting pumpkin-tinged receptacle to a recycling centre in Knutsford. (quelle horreur!) Even if Ms Eckersley removes the seeds, the council have said they still won’t empty the bin.

Cheshire East Council have defended their decision and maintain that pumpkins are food waste. This might seem like a tedious First World problem to you (because it is), but it does highlight the genuine bafflement many people experience when they’re trying to recycle.

So just remember, when you’re trying to crowbar your artificial Christmas tree into the paper recycling, or fancy dumping a dead body in the garden waste, the bin police are out there. And if you're not careful, they might send you an angry yellow form.

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice   Complaints   Government


  • Grammar N.
    Give people a bit of power and they start acting like twats with it.
  • samuri
    put the green bin in the black bin
  • Jerry
    Recycling in the UK is really confusing. the rules change slightly from council to council (particularly confusing if you live in London) and then you get strange instructions like "you can recycle empty yogurt pots, but not margarine pots" - there should be one clear rule for the whole country, something like ONE recycling bin for ALL packaging material, then seperate collections for glass and paper, and a black bin for all the rest.
  • Dick
    The simplest way to deal with it is this. 1) Leave garden rubbish in garden in a pile. 2) Set fire to it.

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