It was interesting, but not too surprising, to watch some of the negative coverage of the proposed shake-up in our rubbish collection services.

The suggested switch to fortnightly collections and moves to recycle more of the food, products and packaging we purchase every day comes after a new study refuted one of the main stumbling blocks – namely, the hygiene implications of a reduction in traditional refuse collections.

Further research also reveals that as a nation we throw away up to a third of the food we buy.

We are a wasteful society and this has been the case for some time now.

The major problem is that we are simply too bone idol and ignorant to dispose of our waste properly and responsibly. It is one of the classic examples of a wider belief that it is up to someone else to take care of such problems – after all, that is why we pay our taxes isn’t it?

It is a bogus argument and a lazy attitude to adopt.

Too often – as typified by some of the coverage of these latest proposals – we’re quick to point the finger at others and expect them to clean up the mess we create all by ourselves.

As a nation we do need to be educated properly about how to reduce the amount of waste we produce each other. But, equally, local authorities need to provide a simple and efficient service to encourage us to recycle more.

There are shining examples where this happens. I’ve lived with a fortnightly collection of household waste and a weekly collection of recyclable material for three years now and the service provided by the local authority is clear, effective and informative.

As a result the amount of rubbish I throw away has been dramatically reduced.

It isn’t rocket science. If those critics invested as much time and energy in disposing of their rubbish as responsibly as possible as they do in flogging tired old and bogus arguments, then we would be exceeding the Government’s own targets on recycling in no time.

We live on a comparatively small island. We simply can’t afford to keep throwing everything away as before long we’ll be sunk by a mountain of rubbish.


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