We have seen and heard many calls from “greens” recently to re-wild Britain, but in Brighton, the Green Party-led Council seems to be taking it to a whole new level.
The Council is in dispute with Cityclean workers and their trade union, the GMB. The result, as the headline to a Guardian article* tells us is:
Garbage fills the streets as Brighton refuse strike continues
Brighton and Hove residents worry about rats and foxes as more refuse and recycling walkouts planned
The strike by refuse lorry drivers (that’s “refuse” as in rubbish, not as in decline to do something) has already lasted a week and could go on until mid-November, according to the Guardian report. We are told that the dispute is about pay and conditions and about removing drivers from long-standing bin rounds. The council admits it will take weeks to clear the backlog of rubbish once the dispute is settled, whenever that may be. All household and communal bin waste and recycling services are affected, as well as garden and trade waste services.
Some residents at least aren’t happy – understandably:
“It’s obviously going to attract foxes and rats and gulls. We have loads of gulls here, and they are pecking the bags open,” said Marie De Vere, picking her way through a passageway in the shoulder-high piles of bags covering the pavement in one road in the Seven Dials area of the city.
“It is really dreadful,” she added, surveying the overflowing communal bins outside the genteel Victorian terrace of Montpelier Crescent, now home to one of largest rubbish mounds in Brighton and Hove.
The good news is that the Council has lots of positive green ideas for residents to deal with the issues arising from the dispute:
In the meantime, the council is advising residents to break up and flatten boxes and cartons and store waste in their homes, or take it to the tip themselves in their cars.
People are asked to double or triple bag any rubbish they leave in the street, with those using communal bins requested to store their refuse at home if possible…
So there you have it, coming to an area near you (if you’re stupid enough to vote Greens into power) – lots of single-use plastic, store your rubbish in your home for an indefinite period, and use your car, and try not to run over the rats while you’re at it.
The re-wilding of Brighton continues. Chris Packham, eat your heart out.