Rye residents will recently have received notification of changes to their refuse collections. Rother wish to change their recycling arrangements: more waste will get recycled, obviating the need for us to rush down to the bottle banks, and garden waste collection will be reorganised (at a cost).
From the global environment point of view this appears to be a Good Thing: more recycling, less destruction of bags by seagulls. However, there is a downside, which may scupper the whole scheme, at least in Rye’s historic centre. The bags are to be replaced by wheelie bins and boxes . . .
Walk the streets of Rye, with their cobbles and narrow pavements. Peek through the occasional open front door in an ancient terrace, leading into a pretty but tiny front room. Now ask yourself, where are all these bins and boxes to be stored? On the street, where they will block the footpaths and drive folk on to the road? In the back garden (assuming there is one)? Under the stairs?
And how will you get a large wheelie bin (or three) through the house, down the steps to the street and back again?
Even if you are young and fit (and many of Rye’s residents are not), this will be a weekly struggle. And even if there is outside storage space, it might be shared; so an alleyway could become the depository for three or four households. Three bins each (black, brown and green). TWELVE bins! And on the hills the bins will run away!
The good folk of Rye have spent (and spend) much time debating how to make the town attractive to visitors.
Armies of wheelie bins on the streets will not help. Rother needs to think again and bin this proposal. Back to bags?
* Doctors Andrew and Liz Bamji won the Rye Conservation Society’s Townscape Award 2014 for the restoration and refurbishment of Norman House, West Street, Rye
Photos: Jane Taylor