Earlier this year the Guardian printed a list of organisations across the country which are closing or losing services as part of the public spending cuts agenda. It’s not difficult to see who will be affected or rather who won’t be affected by the loss of valuable community services. Libraries, the Arts, leisure facilities, voluntary groups, support for the homeless, those struggling with addiction, older people, young people, the sick and the unemployed are all now facing the daily realities of having their government grants either cut or taken away.
The development of talking rubbish bins which congratulate you for using them seems not only bizarre but a flagrant waste of resources. The bins are being brought to the streets by Keep Britain Tidy, who are running a Love Where You Live campaign. Keep Britain Tidy is part-funded by the Government through Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and they work closely with other Government departments, such as the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit in the Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Some of the London bins will burst into song when litter is thrown into them, with tunes including I’m Singing in the Bin and Rubbish Keeps Falling on my Head. I don’t get it. Either we are suffering an economic crisis or not. Welfare is more important than hearing Actress Amanda Holden’s recording of “Yes! Do that again!” or former cricketer Phil Tufnell calling out “Howzat!” whenever a piece of litter is deposited. “We wanted to find a way to make bins enjoyable,” says Colette Hiller, director of Sing London who are also involved in the project. I have a suggestion. Forget making bins enjoyable. How about concentrating on people instead?