No Mercy on Earth Day for Eco-Sinner

by | Apr 22, 2008

A BBC article coincides fittingly with Earth Day…

A father-of-four has been left with a criminal record for overfilling his wheelie bin by four inches.

Gareth Corkhill, 26, of Whitehaven, Cumbria, received a £110 fixed penalty notice after Copeland Council staff photographed his raised bin lid.

When he refused to pay he was taken to court where magistrates added a further £115 to the fixed penalty.

Copeland Council has defended its actions and pledged to continue to take action against overfilled wheelie bins.

Wheelie bins have been introduced across the UK as part of the country’s commitment to reducing the amount of refuse making its way into landfill sites. Along with wheelie bins come an array of boxes into which recyclable rubbish is supposed to be left out for collection seperately.

Mr Corkhill, who shares a house with his partner and three children and also has a child from a previous relationship, said the authority recently switched from weekly to fortnightly refuse collections, but added that the supplied bins were not big enough to cope.

Alternate weekly collections are the local authorities’ new way of ‘delivering services’. But recognising that collecting waste for both recycling and landfill simultaneously would cost more money, councils have opted to collect recyclables one week and refuse destined for landfill the next. This also has the consequence of leaving rubbish to fester for a up to a fortnight, and cluttering up people’s homes and gardens with multiple containers.

In a statement the council said: “Copeland Borough Council will continue to crack down on the problem of overflowing bins, which cause problems for local residents and in the battle to reduce waste. “It is important that we all reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. “We can do this by recycling more of what is in our bins, and we would advise anyone who has a problem with too much waste to look at what can be recycled.”

What is important – and what ought to be Copeland Borough Council’s priority – is removing rubbish. That is what municipal authorities are for. That is what is expected of them. But, over the years, local politics – perhaps more so even than national politics – has been set loftier aims. Now it is about saving the planet, one bin-criminal at a time. Never mind the fact that a father of four in a household of six, might have need of slightly more space than average; there are no mitigating circumstances. The aperture of four inches is not to be tolerated. The bin gestapo are on the scene to protect society Gaia from this wanton act of senseless criminality. Justice has been done. And to complain is to have the blood of future generations on your hands. It’s all very convenient – for everybody except real, live human beings.

But of course, real live human beings are merely an inconvenience for Environmentalism. Which brings us to Earth Day.

Founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network (EDN) promotes environmental citizenship and year round progressive action worldwide … Our mission is to grow and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable planet. We pursue our mission through education, politics, events, and consumer activism.

The action taken against Gareth Corkhill by Copeland Council gives the lie to the claim that the environmental movement is ‘progressive’. Environmentalism is misanthropic. Full stop. Once authorities get it into their heads that human concerns take second place to a higher purpose, no reason exists for them to imagine that they owe the public anything, or are accountable to them. Public servants become policemen. Refuse disposal ceases to be a public service and becomes a means to monitor and control behaviour. Environmentalism turns the purpose of government and public service on its head. It is convenient for councils that have no idea how to offer public services that they can pretend to be saving the planet rather than doing their jobs.


  1. papertiger

    I’m thinking the Council must have wheelie bin of their own.
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the garbage police found the Council’s wheelie bin perpetually overfilled and in violation for the duration of this onerous code?

  2. Anonymous

    Come on, his real crime was to reproduce or have a larger than average family to begin with! It’s amazing how many environmentalists argue sincerely that ‘overpopulation’ (despite global declining birth-rates) is the crux of the global-warming problem, and that no one should have kids (see ‘zero population growth’ or for example) Of course, population control only applies to other people (usually brown or working-class), not their own family and friends…


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