Modern humanity can easily say that people of the 13th century had more carefree lives: all unnecessary waste was thrown into the streets, and then the good old rotting process helped to cope with it. If someone didn’t like the smell — they sprayed huge amounts of perfume; if there was no perfume — they got used to living like that!
Since then, people have clearly realised that it’s cleanest not only in places they don’t litter but where the refuse is collected. Over time, human waste products have become more complex and toxic, and the methods of their disposal have become more sophisticated and elegant. Now rubbish removal in London is commonplace, and every resident clearly knows that it’s their duty to make the city and the country cleaner. From this article, you’ll learn what you can and cannot do with waste in modern London.
Fines in London
In fact, everything is pretty strict in London — the pollution problem is monitored seriously, but the quality of street cleaning depends on the area of residence. In some places, the streets are cleaned every day (the tourist centre), and in others — every two or three weeks. Waste is collected from the house once a week.
To motivate citizens, the government has established fines for:
- Incorrect sorting — £1000;
- Waste disposal — £80;
- The release of a large volume of refuse — that is, the creation of a landfill in the middle of the street — from 400 pounds for an individual.
By the way, here’s an interesting fact: in the UK, the government monitors not only the composition but also the weight of the garbage bag. There’s even a so-called “two-finger rule” — a filled bag should weigh just enough so that it can be held with two fingers.
Separate Garbage Collection
This approach to cleaning became traditional about 15 years ago. The reason was that the central government sharply reduced the budget allocations allocated to local authorities for social programmes. Under these conditions, administrations were forced to optimise costs. Recycling waste is a significant part of their budget.
Some regions swayed for a long time, and in large cities, the process was the most difficult. In London and the bordering cities, everything happened faster. A pilot project was connected with weekly waste collection, but it turned out to be too expensive. Then the administration switched to a mixed scheme, whereby two types of sorted garbage are taken out, in turn, every other week, and food waste is taken out weekly.
Rules of Sorting
The British didn’t immediately get used to separate waste collection, and for a long time, the UK was among the European countries in the places in terms of the share of waste recycling. In England, only 18% of waste was recycled, while in the Netherlands this share was 65%, and in Germany — 58%. The government didn’t give up on this question and did everything possible to ensure that UK residents sorted waste correctly.
Now the inhabitants of the UK distribute it into three tanks: the first is intended for organic and food waste, the second collect all recyclable garbage (paper, plastic, glass), and the third container is for things that cannot be recycled.
Sorting rules may vary slightly in different parts of the county. For example, in some areas of the UK, organic waste needs to be put in a special biodegradable bag. In other parts, owners of private houses should have a separate tank for garden waste — branches, mown grass, and dried flowers are thrown there.
Refuse Collection Memos
To make it clear which things to throw into which tank, residents of the country are given special leaflets-memos on how to sort waste. These measures showed results: if earlier England processed only 11-18% of waste, now more than 40% is recycled.
The British sort the waste themselves, but not completely. There are containers of different colours next to each house. For waste for recycling (plastic, glass, paper), for food residues, and for everything else. Large waste is stored separately; batteries are handed over for disposal. Street garbage is also mostly sorted; it’s written on the bins what you can throw there and what you can’t.
What Do the British Do with Their Waste Afterwards?
Now a little more than a third of all waste is recycled, but there’s a target to increase this percentage to at least 50%. As a rule, the same plastic is made from recycled plastic, paper is made from paper. But there are also unusual ideas: countertops and doors made of recycled yoghurt cups, ceiling trim made of cocktail tubes.
Most of the waste is incinerated. They assure us that a special eco-friendly technology is used, which doesn’t pollute the air, and the energy from combustion is spent on urban needs. There are no landfills — their maintenance is too expensive.
In the past, the ashes from the garbage also went to work: it was mixed with clay, and bricks were made. In London, bridges, roads, and industrial and railway structures are made of such building materials.