The paradox of bins


Did you know there are only 46 public rubbish bins in the entire City of London but there are 975 cigarette bins in the same area? So apart from empty fag packets, what else do we have to dispose in such small numbers that 46 bins for the estimated 300,000 people who work there suffices? Previously you would see everyone walking with a newspaper which would need a home before getting into the office but no-one buys those any more. Then you would see everyone clutching a bottle of water or a coffee but we don’t do that anymore because now we all have our smart phone in one hand and tapping stuff into it with a finger from the other.

I travel through the City every morning to get to Roast and can only surmise that there aren’t reports of people being run over due to the fact they were staring at their screens rather than looking where they were going is because traffic moves at such a slow pace as to cause any harm should such collisions to occur.

And because eager City workers are eating al desko while their bosses, bless them, go to smart restaurants for breakfast and lunch there’s no need for public disposal of food cartons, which is all the more staggering when you find out that the Moorgate branch of Marks and Spencer alone sells 3.5 million sandwiches a year. Don’t ask me how I know these things but it’s true.

Domestic consumption and disposal is a different story. As someone who lives on his own, I’m amazed by how many black plastic bags I take to the communal bins each week. It’s not just me – there are only nine flats in my building but the wheelie bin is full by the time I leave in the morning and we have a daily collection.

Yes the people we buy food from could all reduce the amount of packaging that they wrap our stuff with. But let’s not transpose the problem onto others when we ourselves are the guilty party.  In Britain we throw away 150 million tonnes of food every year. That’s obscene. We really need to talk rubbish.

About Iqbal Wahhab

Founder of The Cinnamon Club and Roast. High Sheriff of Greater London
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