Thursday, September 13, 2007

Reduce, reuse, recycle

On holiday in Spain, we noticed that the Catalonians have embraced recycling big time. Everywhere we went, we would see five sets of bins by the side of the road.

In some areas, the industrial wheelie (dumpster) had been replaced by something a bit more elegant. In Tarragona, neat street furniture was found.
David described the Cambrils variant as being Tardis bins, as the top tubular bit was above a much larger sub-street bin and the whole top swings out of the way for emptying.
I hate to think how much this would cost in Britain, as to fit such an arrangement in a typical UK urban street would require re-arrangement of all the under pavement services which are probably not too well mapped anyway. Think of it- water pipes, sewage pipes, drains, electricity cables, gas pipes, phone ducts. I'd hazard a guess that you wouldn't get much change from quarter of a million pounds.

As well as that, you have to equip your collecting vehicles with lifting gear suitable for opening the lid and getting the inner bin out then back again and you have to do it five times at each collecting station.

This particular bin has an interesting selection of allowable contents- porcelain, cigarette ends, hoover dust and dog shit. Looking into the various Tardis bins, there was evidence of what would be rejected in England as contamination, i.e. contents wrapped in black bin bags and carrier bags. Either it is happily post-sorted afterwards, or maybe it is all just lip service.

David enjoyed the opportunity to crush cans in this street furniture, an item we saw loads of, except when we actually had some cans to crush! (In the end, they went into the Hotel recycle bins). You could only fit regular 330ml cans in this design though, which made our taller, thinner Coke zero cans a bit of a faff.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

We have a system rather like th one shown in your first pic. Nothing is enforced, though. I like those "Tardis bins"!

Right Wing Quaker said...

The question is - do they actually manage to get people to put the right things in the right bins though?

Shades said...

Welshcakes, enforcement is becoming the norm in the UK. Quaker- I doubt it, we were confused. (Although we don't read Spanish).