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The Lee Newsletter
September 2006
Moan of the month: the advance of the wheelie bin
wheelie bin By Mike Senior

The Council gnomes are at it again. Yes, it’s official; we are in line to suffer the curse of the wheelie bin. The southern part of the Chilterns was phase one; the Amersham, Chesham Bois, Latimer and Chenies area was phase two and in the next financial year, sadly, it’s our turn.

Each household will be provided with not one, but two wheelie bins for what is described as ‘alternate week collection’. One week you will have to put out a green wheelie bin containing garden waste. The next week will be for non-garden waste and that must be put into a black wheelie bin. So, in the good old days, we had door-to-door collection by the refuse men. Then each householder was obliged to carry out plastic containers to the roadside. And now we will be expected to manage green and black wheelie bins. These bins will, of course, be in addition to the existing containers for re-cycling glass and paper.

So, what’s the moan? Well, first, why do council tax increases (some 30% over the past three years) result in poorer consumer services? Second, I’m niggled because I can’t remember being consulted about all this. And third, these wheelie bins just look absolutely awful. I motored through part of rural Oxfordshire last month and the sight of wheelie bins outside every house (and most of them stay there for the whole day) was truly terrible. Beautiful iron-stone villages were made to look like grotesque versions of Legoland.
Why is it that these gnome planners have no sense of what is appropriate? Why must our villages, what with road signs, speed roundels and now wheelie bins, be turned into third-class suburbs? We are rapidly becoming a wheelie bin society with wheelie bin values. Stand aside St George – our new patron saint is Bishop Biffa.

It has the inevitability of some contagious disease: a sort of dismal environmental dumbing-down. You just wonder what we’re in for next.
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