Rubbish mountains The UK produces 27 million tonnes of household
rubbish each year, and even more from businesses and industry. Yet
the amount of rubbish that is recycled is currently the lowest in
One problem is that for many people living in blocks of flats
do not have access to the green collection boxes some councils
provide for householders, and not every council in the UK provides
Many supermarkets have recycling bins for things like
glass, paper, cans and clothes in their car parks, to encourage
customers to recycle at least some of their waste.
on glass of Bengali poet Kobi Nazrul at theKobiNazrulCentre
Brick Lane, London
Fashion in glass Recycled glass has become fashionable not only
in the form of drinking glasses, jugs and bowls, but more recently
within the DIY (do-it-yourself) market.
It's now possible to buy
a range of tiles and bricks made out of recycled glass - for use
in buildings, and especially for bathroom and kitchen decoration,
and also in gardens. Despite their relatively high cost, they are
becoming very popular especially after featuring in a range of
style and lifestyle TV programmes and magazines.
Yet even allowing
this change in fashion, too few people currently recycle their
empty glass bottles and jars.
Rats! One problem with the increasing amounts of rubbish we're producing
in the UK, especially litter dropped on the streets, has been a huge
rise in the size of the rat population.
There are an estimated 60
million rats in the UK - one for every person. They live off rubbish,
especially all the fast food that is dropped in the streets.
carriers of infection, particularly Weil's disease that can lead
to kidney and liver failure, they are not very pleasant beasts
- and are increasingly becoming immune to poisons. To help control
numbers we must produce less waste.
Pollution As well as the problems caused by litter and general rubbish,
other forms of waste have an impact upon our lives.
There are frequent
news stories about pollution entering our water supplies. This
can be from both factories and from farming.
The chemicals from fertilisers
wash into rivers and can poison fish and other wildlife, whilst
slurry from pig feed is also toxic to other species.
of fish poisoning have occurred in both Scotland and Wales,
following water pollution.