Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cleaning up the Streets

Photo: L van Mulligen
Residents in the West Midlands in the UK have been slapped on the wrist by their local council for collecting leaves from outside their homes and putting them in their recycle bins.  Yes, the residents had the nerve to put the collected leaves in their rubbish bins..... and this is against council rules. Hot on recycling, the council workmen admonished local pensioners for the way they had disposed of the leaves stating that this caused 'contamination'.

Council guidelines state "grass cuttings, plant clippings, weeds and leaves from residents' own gardens can be put into the brown bins." The brown bins are the equivalent of our green bins here in the Netherlands.

In theory the council comes round here to clean the leaves from the streets here but their visits cannot possibly keep up with the leaf fall in the autumn. The solution in my area? Leaf cages - a bladkorf - placed on public roads for residents to dispose of leaves on public footways and roads without having to fill up their own green bins.

This was introduced last year, and to my surprise worked very well. The cages were regularly filled with leaves and the council regularly emptied them. An idea for West Midlands council? If people want to keep their streets clean, tidy and safe should councils really be slapping them on the wrists and discouraging it?

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