If you didn’t know about the news section on bins in the Independent, stop what you’re doing right now. Its recent highlights include local-versus-central government waste management disputes (centre-periphery relations, anyone?), public displays of contempt, labour and immigration (of course), energy policy, and fire safety—in other words, all of journalism’s noblest themes, except perhaps the aesthetics of bogs. Elsewhere, the cult podcast Trashfuture (not to be confused with Don’t Trash Our Future, a campaign by In Your Area and the dubiously named Clean Up Britain) has discussed bins extensively, and the political candidate known as Count Binface has run against both Boris Johnson and, in his former incarnation as Lord Buckethead, against Theresa May. For serious news coverage of bins, though, the Independent is hard to beat: it also has sections tagged ‘recycling bins’ and ‘rubbish.’

Bins: The Independent’s most unique area of coverage.
Bins: an indispensable area of coverage.

For more academic bin-related content, I recommend Tim Cooper’s chapter, ‘Modernity and the Politics of Waste in Britain,’ in Nature’s End: History and the Environment, edited by Sverker Sörlin and Paul Warde. It’s a brilliantly written and thoroughly contextualised account of British waste politics. Indispensable.

Jay Richardson | 18 December 2022