Talking Rubbish

October 2, 2011

I heard this week that Westminster council are planning to put out 25 bins that speak with encouraging words when you put litter in it. It’s a campaign in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy and Sing London, which will run for two months, starting October. But these are not any old talking bins, dear reader. Oh ho, no. Like sat navs before it, these bins will be voiced by British celebrities such as actress Amanda Holden and ex-cricketer Phil Tufnell. There will be some singing bins featuring opera and Abba(?), but it’s the celebrity voice that we’re all supposed to be excited about.

A talking purple bin full of rubbish

Apparently, so impressed and star struck we’d all be on hearing these voices, that we’d meekly trot over to the nearest bin and fill it with bones from the chicken shop, rather than drop them where we stand and encourage the growth of hardcore London foxes, walking side by side with the rakish London rat.

I’m left scratching my head at this one, ladies and gentlemen. Have we really become so infantilised in Blighty that we’re only capable of doing the right thing if it has celebrity backing? That certainly appears to be the thinking behind this project as far as I can see.

I used to hear voices telling me to put my rubbish in the bin, or take it with me if I couldn’t find one. And the voices thanked me for doing it.

They were my parents.



  1. I had to check to make sure it wasn’t april fools when i read this! What with summer finally daring to rear its rare head! And then i did have a little chuckle as when I arrived home tonite there was a brand new food bin waiting for me delivered by my local council! Now i haven’t checked if it speaks to me yet…i now have potentially 4 speaking bins! Hmmmm whose voice would i have… Alf Garnet springs to mind. Dont ask why but maybe sheer sadistic entertainment value! lol

    • Ooh, yeah. Alf Garnett. Or Jeremy Clarkson. That should encourage you to put away your rubbish… dear God!

  2. Oh this cracks me up! They’d have to think of an interesting voice for it to work where we live – amongst sheep and cows, crows and buzzards. Maybe someone from spittin’ image?

    • How about a famous politician? Most of them are vermin and would fit well into your marvellous menagerie.

  3. Pie, I’ve learned of many amazing things through the Palace blog, but this one takes the cake. Your city officials are masters of utilizing tax revenue.

    Where I live, we group our bins together for pick-up, and often they’re overflowing…things could get out of hand.

    Antehc must let us know if her four bins learn to sing together in harmony.

    BTW — it’s great to be back following your blog again!

    • Jacki! it’s great to have you back! Try not to leave it so long next time.

      Have you ever thought of having a bonfire one evening with your group of bins? It could be very social and beneficial at the same time. Having said that, I’m sure some green fascist will make an appearance and tell you that you’re contributing to climate change

  4. Groan on the Amanda Holden who I have always thought was rubbish anyway (ie her “acting” chops) and here I was thinking Britain was broke and that collection services were being cut!

    • But you are wrong, dear Patti. Our esteemed government has promised to set aside some money so we can return to weekly collections of our rubbish. We’re rich, I tell ye! I suggest that Westminster have been able to do this talking bin malarky because they are a high contender for the most money grabbing council in the Universe and the cash they’ve gathered from bleeding motorists dry has been squirreled away for just such an occasion.

  5. I’ve been given a nice thank you by a few trash cans over here the past few years, but no one spent the cash to get a recognizable voice.

    Not that I think that would have helped.

    • You have talking bins in NC?! If you really want to have a celebrity talking bin (and I know you don’t), how about Piers Morgan? That’s our British gift to you.

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