At last! Via Annie Mole of London Underground blog, the pest level of London's free "newspapers" is finally being realised. Nine and a half tons of the pesky things are left behind every day on the tube trains alone; add the amount that must be abandoned on the much more extensive suburban train lines and you begin to get the picture. Ever since the IRA bombs of 20 or so years ago, litter bins on stations or trains (tube or overground variety) are hard to come by, so passengers just leave these horrid parasitic publications wherever they finish with them, rather than taking them away and disposing of them in a responsible fashion. I find the sociology interesting in a repellent kind of way, because you hardly ever see paid-for papers left on the train or tube, only these awful travesties. Will the bins make a difference to behaviour patterns, I wonder?
To return to the news: according to Annie's post, the publishers, under threat of council fines, are underwriting the installation of 35 recycling bins outside central London stations at a cost of £500 each. These papers even plague us in Kingston, at the outer reaches of zone 6 beyond even the reach of Oyster cards, but we've had a recycling bin outside our station for a while now - so although we are in the styx, we are ahead of our metropolitan neighbours in at least this sense.
I hope phase 2 of the paper clean-up project is to ban the distributors of the rag sheets jumping up and waving them in your face, times three, at every station entrance and exit on your journey to and from work. Otherwise, innovative uses of the recycling bins might begin to come to mind.