We are officially a nation of bin lovers

What does your bin say about you?

Are you a householder whose waste receptacle bulges at the seams like Mr Creosote’s trousers or someone who decorates theirs with pretty stickers and spends hours making sure the waste inside is pristine and ready for the refuse afterlife?

Like many, I have done my bit and obediently separated food waste from its cartons for years and, I am almost ashamed to admit publicly, we have even started washing out used tins and cans, so as to avoid three-day-old bean juice or rancid Lilt sullying the old copies of Take A Break.

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In my teens and early twenties, recycling was something done by people who used joss sticks or listened to Dido CDs but recycling is a sign of growing up, partly because most people under the age of 30 still live at home and therefore it is officially a dad’s job to both fill and put out the bins, and because, on becoming a parent, most of us are overcome with the overwhelming realisation that we have done naff all to preserve the planet for future generations.

Granted, fishing discarded Caramac wrappers and Frazzle packets out of the grass cuttings wasn’t a term of the Kyoto Treaty and won’t really make much difference, but it does give mummies and daddies everywhere the chance to look their children in the eye.

Given non-recyclers are firmly in the minority, it doesn’t stop local authorities from pursuing ‘bin sinners’ with such vigour that, on occasion, ‘offenders’ are fined or even taken to court for not sorting their trash properly.

Now one council is leading the latest charge against the refuse refuseniks and has sent out letters warning people if they don’t wash remove baked bean residue from cans or the brown sludge from the neck of the discarded ketchup bottle then they run the risk of losing at least one of their bins.

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While most of us understand there are huge pressures to meet green targets, it is puzzling that so many councils invest effort in policing waste, especially when 
we are officially a nation of bin lovers.