Categories: Manchester City CouncilManchester Council

Manchester rubbish bins

Manchester rubbish bins have shrunk. And we’ve been told that it’s all in the cause of recycling.

And of course recycling is green because we’re helping the environment.

However, the Manchester council bin I have is now almost the same size as the bin I have in my kitchen. So that now means I make 3 or 4 trips to the local tip every week.

And from the look of the crowds of people dumping their rubbish it looks as though I’m not the only one. When I asked one tip employee how many cars were coming through every month they told me it was around 30,000.

Increasing non-recyclable waste

Now I know that quite a proportion of those cars are purely recycling. I do that myself too. However, just casually standing there I noted there was a lot of rubbish that was put into the non-recyclable skip.

So how much diesel and petrol is being used to transport our waste to tips that was originally being put into bins collected by bin lorries? It can’t be that green if we’re all making many more trips to the tip can it?

Manchester Council wins again

I suspect it helps Manchester city council as their bin lorries won’t be carrying as much waste as they used to. So the lorries won’t be so heavy laden and that means they won’t need as much maintenance and they also won’t need as much fuel to carry the rubbish around.

Which as a council tax payer looks to be a a good thing. However, like so much of the green movement the hidden costs (of 30,000 car trips to just one tip per month) can’t have been calculated  when they decided to reduce bin sizes! So much for being environmentally friendly, eh?

Jim Symcox: Manchester is great. At Manchester University I take part in Gilbert & Sullivan productions each year. I'm a Manchester-based business growth coach and marketing evangelist and like to help companies grow more profitable, more quickly.

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  • Wow, that's a huge amount of waste you produce every week!

    Well, one option that you might have to face like many of us, is to reduce the amount of waste you produce!

    Of course that's not always straight forwards as we don't have control of the packaging manufacturers use, but we can make choices when we shop.

    You could try 'The Rubbish Diet' which helps people move towards zero waste.

    You didn't ask what increase in car journeys there may have been since the bin sizes changed, but that's a red herring anyway, as even if you had a bigger bin, where does it all go after we create it - an incinerator (releasing toxins into the air and the ash that's then landfilled), or landfills (which we don't have the space for and leach their toxins out)?!

    • Hey Bob, There are 6 of us - 4 adults. And Manchester council used to give two large bins as standard to larger families. So when we went from two large to one small it was a bit of a shock to the system.

      I did ask the guys working at the tip, and their bosses too, if the number of visits had increased. And they all agreed they had.

      I've talked to a waste management company and they say there is actually no way of getting to zero waste. They actually try and recycle almost everything they get.

      So waste is a subject that I'm sure will continue to be talked about for years to come!