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Straight response to Daily Mail wheelie bin campaign

The Daily Mails campaign against wheelie bins is irresponsible, says a leading industry expert.

The newspaper is calling on its readers to ask their local council to be given a choice between a wheeled bin, a dustbin or a biodegradable plastic bag.

The Daily Mail also claims that councils have achieved high recycling rates without the use of wheeled bins.

Container supplier Straight chief executive Jonathan Straight said on his blog that the campaign was hugely irresponsible. He said: The Mail has generally taken an anti-recycling stance in the past, promoting commingling where all recyclable materials are collected together in a wheeled bin. This new attack appears to be a significant change of heart. Whether it will persuade its readers to follow a more environmentally positive lifestyle is unlikely.

Straight is not a wheeled bin company but it does sell wheeled bins.

The Daily Mail presents a number of arguments against the wheeled bin including:

  • Bins are not the best way to collect recyclables boxes are;
  • The bins are aesthetically poor; and
  • Bins are fitted with chips which are intrusive and allow new taxes to be charged.

In response to these arguments, Straight said: The Government agency the Waste & Resources Action Programme has conducted research which points to kerbside boxes being the best way to collect recyclable waste. This low-tech system which I pioneered in the UK in the late 1980s is lower cost, results in lower emissions and produces cleaner material which sells for a higher price. But just as wheeled bins do not work everywhere, boxes also are not suited to every location. Wheeled bins certainly do have their place. In terms of collection of residual waste they are probably the most efficient means but they do encourage people to waste more. For garden waste, they are not suitable. The most environmentally friendly method with garden waste is to compost it at home. If a collection service is offered it should be charged for.

He explained that there are modern myths over the issue of chips in bins. He said the chip was a way of numbering the bin and it was no different from having an address printed on the bin, it is just that an electronic reader can read it rather than a human being.

Straight added: Most people who object to chips would happily paint their house number on the bin. There is no difference.

He also said that wheeled bin aesthetics were primarily driven by the performance standard the bins must adhere to: The EN840 standard dictates the basic design and sets out tests to ensure that the bins do not fall apart when they are tipped.

To view Straight's full blog see:

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