Saturday 11 August 2012


                                                Is this acceptable?


                      Or should a city like Birmingham deserve better?

Several years ago most of Gloucestershire adopted the wheelie bin system for the storage of household waste. A recent visit by a friend of mine to Birmingham made me think about some of the things our council could do to improve the cleanliness of our streets.

My friend was horrified that a big cosmopolitan city should still be using bin liners piled up in the street as the main system of refuse collection. I had to admit that on occassions the bags did indeed split and the contents were left strewn across the road and blown around the street to end up settled in front gardens up and down both sides of the road. Domestic pets and occassional attacks by foxes have also led to bags being ripped asunder and their contents littering the streets.

Here I was showing my guest the delights of modern Brum, the great achievements of the past decade or so, and then, its - 'down to earth with a with a bump' on something so obvious! Something so simple stuck in his mind and leaves a lasting impression. Birmingham has gone a long way towards shaking off its image of a drab and dreary urban sprawl and the word is getting around that this a city going somewhere. Isn't it a shame that our rubbish isn't going in a wheelie bin? Couldn't we go the extra mile?

There are issues of course. There is the cost. There may be a requirement for adapted refuse trucks and a change in working practices to cope with using wheelie bins. However, I am convinced that the changes would be for the better. A much cleaner environment and far easier and more tidy than existing arrangements. When Tewekesbury County Council first adopted the scheme over a decade ago, questions were raised such as where would the bins be left when they were emptied - in the street? What about the elderly who find it awkward to move the bins?

Perhaps Birmingham City Council should talk to other counties who are using this much cleaner and more efficient method of refuse collection in order to find the answers. I am sure none of these counties would consider reverting back to black plastic bin liners. What a shameful advert for our region.


  1. I have one wheelie bin which I bought to put my bin bags in, but I object to the idea of us all having THREE wheelie bins EACH, one for general waste, one for paper and one for plastic/glass. Or is one for green waste? Where are we going to put them all? We live in small houses and flats with no space and poor means of access between front and back of properties.

  2. Birmingham Council now supplies wheelie bins. 2015.


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