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Here in Yorkshire we have a black box for cans and glass; we don't have to separate those, a green bag for paper and lightweight card like cereal packets etc. - NO corrugated cardboard or brown paper allowed, you have to take that to the tip yourself or fit it in your black wheelie bin with the general waste.
There's a white bag for plastic bottles - NO bottle tops OR any other type of plastic permitted at all, and the brown food caddy which is for any food waste at all - although we compost anything veg related already, so this tends to be meat/fish related stuff and any other cooked scraps which might attract rats to the compy heap.
We have a small brown caddy and bio degradeable liners for keeping on the kitchen worktop, and a big one to put the filled liners in and put out for collection. (I actually like these, and think it's more hygienic than putting meat refuse in the wheelie, so I don't understand why people object to them on principle).
There's NO facility at present for us to get our garden waste collected; we have to take it to the tip ourselves - although we tend to shred and mulch most of it.
Our council used to do the fortnightly alternate thing, but they recently decided to collect all recycling weekly, it's just the wheelie bin that goes fortnightly, and like yours, they won't ouch it if the lid isn't closed flat ('it's Elfnsafety mate!).
We've had this system in place for over 5 years now, at first I thought it was too complicated, but I've got into the routine of it now. I just wish they would take All plastic, paper and cardboard, and don't see why they won't.


We have: glass in a green crate (can leave tops on); all food waste in a caddy; orange bag for plastic bottles, paper, cardboard (no yoghurt pots or marg tubs); and a black bag for non recyclable stuff. Everyone was given a compost bin for the garden. All collected weekly and quite straight forward really. Your current system sounds awful!


Yours takes the biscuit for complexity, Elizabeth. Here in New Zealand we have three containers: an open blue box for glass ( God help you if anything else goes in there)a yellow lidded wheelie bin for paper, plastics and cardboards and a plain green wheelie for other items including garden waste.
We pay a fortune here in rates ( a recent massive rise when a huge stadium was built which made a few counsellors multi-millionaires) to both the city and district councils. On top of that we pay $200 a year to a waste management company for the bins!
, Godzone, my arse!!!!


Oregon law mandates curbside recycling and we have weekly collection. We have three open blue bins but usually only use one each week. Glass has to be in one bin, otherwise everything except cardboard goes together: mixed paper, including newspaper and magazines; cans, aluminum and SOME plastic: yogurt containers and suchlike are a recent addition. We also can recycle plastic jugs and bottles but not that dreadful clear styrene that produce and some bakery goods come in. We no longer can recycle paper milk cartons and the cartons that soy milk and longlife milk come in--"no market to recycle those." Cardboard has to be kept separate. We have our own compost bin which is fortunate; otherwise it would have to go in the garbage can. Yard waste, including leaves, have to go to the transfer station, where it's free to dump it one day a week. This "dump it all together" method sounds like a pain to sort at the other end, but what you are describing, Elizabeth, sounds difficult, especially finding a place for all the containers. I just chuck stuff into the bins outside the back door, and keep compost in a small covered pail until I take it outside to the compost bin.


We get everything collected from the kerb except glass and textiles in N Oxfordshire.
All rigid plastic (though people still seem to think that includes carrier bags), foil, tins/cans, tetrapaks, cardboard and paper items go in the blue bin. All garden and food waste goes in the brown bin and everything else in the green (landfill) bin.
Blue and brown bins get collected one week, green the next

This mixed system is easier for the public and the council hope it will therefore mean a higher take up, but the more recycling is sorted at source the more money they will get for it. Paper and brown cardboard are worth more separately, for example, as the cheaper cardboard contaminates the paper. Broken glass would contaminate the whole mixed system, so we take that to a bottle bank.

What does surprise me about the S Glos system is the separation of food waste. DEFRA rules say food can only be composted (industrially- not in your back garden) 'in vessel'- ie, when covered, so that birds can't fly off with chunks of possibly contaminated meat, drop it in a pig field and inadvertently feed them some nasty disease, for example. I thought this applied to all kitchen waste due to possible meat contamination. If they are composting under cover then I don't know why they aren't collecting all meat products? (the temperatures reached in these huge compost heaps kill just about anything, I think).

Despite our user friendly system, most of my neighbours still have green bins stuffed full every fortnight- I don't know what they put in them...


I'm a S Glos resident too! Meat/ fish can be put in the food waste bin if it has been cooked..it's only raw stuff they don't want in the bins. I keep my bags and box in the garage. I keep a small food waste caddy in the kitchen which I then empty into the large one which I keep outside with the wheelie bins. We usually have plenty of room left in the black bin too except when we are clearing out crap.


Blimey, seven does seem somewhat excessive. We have three here in Mid-Sussex, one for landfill, one for paper, cardboard, glass, plastics and recyclables and a green one for garden waste which is collected fortnightly at a cost of £55 p.a. I've never understood why some councils can recycle tin foil for instance and some can't, but guess it's all to do with outsourcing. Len Goodman came through Gatwick the other day going on honeymoon, I was dying to shout "se-Ven", but ever the consummate professional I kept my trap shut!


WOW!! And I thought Bromley Council were bad enough, but in comparison, are pretty damn good! We have a weekly collection of food waste and papers/cardboard and fortnightly collection of plastics (I put in any plastics ~ always taken) and general household waste, again anything taken. My neighbour ALWAYS has 10+ black sacks and they are all taken!


Here in Richmond Surrey we have only five! Blue box for paper and cardboard, black box for tins, glass and plastic, small green bin for food waste, green wheelie bin for garden waste (which is extra - £60 a year) and ordinary bin for normal rubbish. It is all collected weekly (apart from the garden waste which is fortnightly) and seems to work well.


Here in Canberra, Australia, we have 2 bins. One for old fashioned non recyclable waste, and another recycling bin for any paper/plastic etc. The old style one goes out each week, the recycling one each fortnight. In Sydney they also have green waste bins i.e. gardening muck, that would be great.
Hope things are ok with your husband in H.K.
It was interesting to read that your gas bill was zero for a summer. Here we have to pay a supply fee, even if we don't use any. Do you pay a supply fee?


Here in Auckland, NZ, we have one wheely bin for anything recyclable. It's collected every two weeks. Regular waste is collected weekly. Both of those collections are paid for within our property rates. Rates are determined by the value of your house. I pay about $1500 a year and I have just an ordinary house. I have to pay a private company to take away my garden rubbish. Costs about $8 a month for a wheely bin.


Southend council are pretty good - we get given black, pink and textile sacks every six months, plus the food waste boxes - one for everyday, one for the actual food waste collection. We have pink bags for all recycling EXCEPT textiles, the textile bag, a garden waste service (paid for by buying the garden waste bags ourselves, so only those with gardens actually pay for the service) and the food waste service. Collections every week. We also have a recycling centre with incredibly helpful staff and a very communicative waste department that publicises changes in schedule. And on top of all that, they will collect large-scale items for a small charge, which can be paid for online or on the phone, and do it extremely promptly. I am happy to pay my council tax for service like this - if only all of Essex was the same, eh ?!

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