A lesson in refuse

This is Amsterdam’s answer to rubbish storage.

Karina Dewell not only follows Bath Museum but makes a point of reading my monthly column in the city’s premier glossy.

“I happened to come across your article in The Bath Magazine yesterday. I very much liked your approach to the Bath refuse system and it came across as a mixture of humour and exasperation.

I am fascinated how Bath is so chronically behind in its way of dealing with the refuse/seagull problem. So much so that when I am visiting cities like Florence, Sydney and Amsterdam I have taken photos of the way their refuse is dealt with.

Not only do they have refuse bins which are collected every day or a couple of times a week but they also have recycling hubs that are under the pavements.

Amsterdam rubbish hub as photographed by Karina Dewell

In both Amsterdam and Sydney people on an allocated day leave items to upcycle such as items of furniture or any unwanted goods in certain areas. If these items are not taken by that morning they are taken away by the council. There is mostly very little left as this is how many people furnish and equip their homes and there is a great green ethos when it comes to rubbish in these countries. 

I have some photos of rubbish on Great Pulteney street where we live which I would like to share with you. I am not sure why the council thinks that seagulls haven’t figured out how to peck at the ‘gull proof bags’. 


Tourists are horrified by this as are we. The increased number of Holiday Lets in the area has added to the dump and run philosophy of the air B and B cleaners. 

When we lived in Germany more than 30 years ago all the litter bins in the towns had three compartments for recycling while here in Bath everything just gets binned with no care for recycling. 

I know Bath is not a green-aware city but this is totally out of hand now. We need to somehow return some dignity to this beautiful city.

This is how Florence in  Italy deals with their rubbish. It is all underground.

The outer fringes of the city have wheels bins for their rubbish which do work but the city centre really can not continue to have these floppy bags which continue to be accessed by the seagulls who have no intention of leaving a city where take away is both free and perpetual!

Thank you for your time and your positive and active input to this problem. I am not sure if there is anyone else I can talk to or does it just fall on deaf ears? “

Thanks Karina for your comments and photographs.

My advice is to keep moaning at your ward councillors and maybe write to Bath’s MP Wera Hobhouse.

1 Comment

  1. Spot on Karina, well put / stated, I’ve said it many times before since I took my partner to visit my home city a year ago, disgusted by the mess ( seagulls etc) in the city, the number of alfresco eateries that have sprung up , the lack of bin / rubbish collection! But hay the LD’s and city MP are more concerned about parking and keeping vehicle’s/ REAL locals out of the city?

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