Why have bins been removed?

Published: Friday, 11 January 2019

WHY have bins been removed (as alleged in some places), asks Mike Todd.

I have not done a systematic, or objective, study but casual observation indicates that the main reason lies a bit beyond CaRT's control.

Increasingly large vehicles

That is, the waste collectors use increasingly large vehicles for so-called increased efficiency (ie they have to go back to base to empty less frequently). Similarly they expect the bins to be the large type that can be emptied into their vehicles with minimal manual handling.

Not all boaters realise that although their waste is domestic, the collection of it from CaRT sites is a commercial operation and the collectors can impose whatever conditions they choose, or the market can withstand, in order to cut their costs.

Collectors will not service them

Some of the traditional sites have been removed solely because collectors will not service them. In
some, but not all, cases they have been replaced by a site nearby, even if less convenient for boaters. Look at Rickmansworth, I think it is, where the bins were moved some distance away, across a long weir bridge and not that easy to find the first time of looking. They used to be alongside the lock cottage.

I don't know the answer, but are rubbish bins part of the supposed minimum standards, along with water points and Elsan? If yes, what is the distance and if not, why not? One of the problems, which local authorities are wrestling with, is that waste collection is unglamorous and rarely vote winning—the old saying amongst councillors was that 'there are no votes in sewers'.

Increase in fly tipping

If they reduce the provision of services to meet demands for lower council taxes, then there is often a
marked increase in fly tipping and litter. However, if they manage to collect that rubbish by better provision then there is the additional whammy of increasing their landfill tax bill. CaRT is no different and they have the additional problem of trying to restrict their bins to boaters too often non-boaters fill them up free of charge when they should be paying their own bills!

A specific issue for boaters, especially permanent ones, is the variation in local policies regarding Local Amenity Sites (aka tips). Some places impose strict rules regarding residency before items may be left therethey too regard boaters' waste as commercial and only domestic is allowed.

A better campaigning group might want to take up this issue and seek to have a national policy that liveaboard boaters should be allowed to use amenity sites.