The local council has announced that from April it will be charging £24 to replace lost or damaged recycling bins or bags, except where they were damaged by the collection staff.
These things do get lost fairly often - ours have gone missing twice this year already - we put them out for collection in the morning; come back in the afternoon and they're gone - and no-one else on the street seems to have more than they should, either, so where they went is a mystery.
Which is most likely when someone's recycling bin goes missing?
- Pay £24 for a replacement (expensive, especially if it keeps happening)
- Drive waste to the local tip instead (inconvenient, and not an option for many)
- Use disposable rubbish bags to put waste out instead (wasteful, and dangerous for recycling glass)
- Throw everything in the non-recycling bin instead (easy, but defeats the point)
- Steal someone else's bin (criminal)
Most people are honest enough not to go for option 5. But they probably won't pick option 1 either, given the choice. Still, I suppose the council saves money whichever option is chosen, and they need to do a lot of that right now, given the central funding cuts they've been given.
But it's yet another case where budget cuts are going to end up costing more in the long run as waste that could be recycled goes into landfill instead.