Sutton Council creates an 11-tonne rubbish mountain with a day's worth of litter
Waste can take many forms. When the Tank ponders the word we imagine a life lived without risk, opportunities missed, and roads left untravelled. Others might add David Bentley's footballing career. It's probably now safe to say he's not the next David Beckham.
But for the more prosaically minded, Sutton Council waste truly is a huge mound of steaming garbage.
Council officials - we assume, anyway - this month heaped an 11-tonne, 10-foot high "mountain of rubbish" in the middle of Sutton High Street in south London to highlight how much street litter it collects every day. Clearing it up costs around £4m a year, apparently - enough to run a library service for a year, repair 100,000 potholes, or build half a primary school.
According to the council, officers, people with sandwich information boards, and - having drawn the short straw - others dressed in "litter themed costumes" were on hand to talk to passers-by about the cost to the tax payer of picking up litter, litter hotspots, and how to dispose of waste correctly.
Keep Britain Tidy's chief executive Phil Barton thundered: "It is time everyone realised the scale of the task facing local authorities like Sutton in keeping the places we call home clean and tidy, and initiatives like this are vital if we are to educate people about the impact of their behaviour."
All very well and good. But we can't help wondering whether Sutton council has rather given the green-light for any Tom, Dick or Harry to chuck a large amount of bothersome rubbish in their local high street and claim it's a 'waste-saving initiative'.
Report from the Institute of Welsh Affairs argues that combination of public and private investment could see the country fully decarbonise its electricity system over the next 15 years
Nestle, Veolia, Walkers, PepsiCo, and Terracycle to the fore with announcements to mark Global Recycling Day
Green Alliance's Libby Peake and Ruth Chambers reveal how the sweeping use of statutory instruments to prepare for Brexit has already opened the door for a weakening of environmental standards
The 'double-edged sword' of transparency looms large in Datuk Darrel Webber's job as chief of sustainable palm oil body RSPO - can he deliver progress fast enough to outpace a growing consumer backlash?