Grumpy Puts The Bins Out.

By alison July 3, 2007 17 Comments 3 Min Read

Recycling2_2

This, I am ashamed to say, is my current recycling system. Pretty flowery bag for paper and red string bag for everything else. Hanging on the back of the laundry door, so everytime I go in, I get smacked in the face with  a milk bottle or a can of beans. I’m not a happy sausage, but it is becoming more apparent by the day that when it’s raining my orderly world goes to pot.

Tis because I’m nesh.  The thought of trailing through the garden to the more  sensible recycling  boxes in the little shed gives me horrors when it’s raining so I improvise and drive myself nuts in the process. Perhaps turning my venom on the local council would be a more productive way of addressing this issue…

Before recycling was invented, terribly nice (but smelly) men would arrive without fail on a tuesday morning and take away the rubbish. As much rubbish as you felt the urge to throw at them. As many bins as you wanted. Boxes, random carrier bags full of nonsense. Anything really. (Well  anything other than naughty husbands and unwanted puppies anyway.) All was well. The people of the local parish were happy. And the responsible amongst us trekked down to the local primary school to put our paper and cardboard in their big blue bin and divided the rest of our worldy goods into baskets we emptied whenever we found ourselves in a supermarket car park recycling centre. It reeked of good citizens patting themselves on the back and throwing middle england dinner parties to congratulate themselves on reducing their carbon footprint, and plainly most of us didn’t understand the wider issues, but one thing for sure is that didn’t make us cross, the way the new system does.

Every house in the land has been issued with the godforsaken eyesore that is the wheelie bin. A standard issue  grey one and an on request green one for garden waste.  (Though it could be worse- those who live within the walls of Liverpool have got stunningly ugly school skirt purple affairs). Produce anymore rubbish than it takes to fill it and the new  hardline bin men just leave it there. Or attach a mean note threatening to put you in rubbish dump prison and pull your hair hard. And trust me this would be ok were it not for the fact that they now only come every two weeks, and the second of the two weeks they arrive at seven in the morning to a dawn chorus of smashing bottles and take away our little blue box full of mixed recycling matter and a very tiny blue plastic bag for every bit of paper that enters our homes.

It’s driving me crazy. Leave food matter in any bin for fourteen days and whether the council assure us it won’t happenor not, even the cleanest of us have had to deal with the nightmare of  wiggly white maggots and a face full of flies. In hot weather the bins stink and the amount of plastic I am using to prevent them visiting my wheelie bin in the first place surely defeats the object of being eco-friendly.When it all gets too much I ring my Dad and make him take my rubbish away in his big van,  so yep, thats one more step towards being ecologically sound knocked on the head…

Don’t even get me started on how old ladies are meant to drag the enormous big things up their paths. Whats the world coming to, I ask ya, WHATS THE WORLD COMING TO??

Ok rant over, please go about your day and pretend I haven’t just thrown a virtual hissy fit.   

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17 Comments

  1. Susana says:

    Gosh Alison, I don't blame you at all! Sounds a bit nightmarish! Here in Albuquerque, the "trash men" come once a week, but use a truck to lift and dump out your trash can. They won't get out of their trucks to pick up anything that has fallen out, and they won't take away the trash if you have more than what fits in the bin. I think that's ridiculous. Anyway, I too would be upset if I had to deal with your trash matters! I can't imagine having it sit there for two weeks!

  2. Philippa says:

    Oh its just awful that you feel this way. I know you are not alone either. Recycling is very important but Local Authorities are just not helping are they! I love your recycling bags though. I have a jute affair that always seems to be brimming over.
    All I can suggest is chin up, and have a rant at your local council.

  3. Amy says:

    hey at least you have recycling where you live…we don't as we're in a small rural town.

  4. Janette says:

    Some little suggestions to make it all a little nicer..
    Go out and buy three small but pretty little bins – one for recycling, one for all the stuff they won't recycle and one for the compose heap!
    If you faithfully wash out everything you put in the recycling, I promise it won't smell.
    Start a compost heap – you can get special kits and it will keep all your potted plants happy.
    Get yourself one of those wheelie bin rose stickers to cover the monster – http://www.wheelie-bin-art.co.uk/wheelie_bin_cove

  5. mandy says:

    I agree Alison, what's the world coming to?
    and the council expects us to wash all the cans and plastic for them, but only pick up our stinky trash every two weeks,
    there is defiently something wrong with that I would say!!!!!!

  6. Why not provide people with small bins and empty said small bin once a week? This wreaks of the council trying to save money rather than the council meeting green targets. Did you know that in Peterborough they have bar codes on your bins and if they are only half full you get a rebate on your council tax…at least that's what's said in "Save Cash, Save the Planet".
    Oh, and whilst I'm on this subject, recycling is just a very minor drop in the ocean in the sea of environmental responsibility (sorry for the torturous analogy). The government should be encouraging us to simply reduce what we buy…or buy second hand, but perhaps that would get on too many big-wigs nerves.

  7. Sharon says:

    You certainly have reason to throw a hissy fit! Every two weeks? Crazy.
    Here's an idea I learned from my grandmother. Of course, it was just she and Granddaddy, then, her alone, so this was very easy for her. She put in a plastic bag her food garbage, and put that in the freezer until trash day. When I asked why she did this, she said it was because the trash cans got so smelly waiting for the pick up. This is a good idea ~ you just have to remember to get the garbage out of the freezer on trash day, too!

  8. Sharon says:

    You certainly have reason to throw a hissy fit! Every two weeks? Crazy.
    Here’s an idea I learned from my grandmother. Of course, it was just she and Granddaddy, then, her alone, so this was very easy for her. She put in a plastic bag her food garbage, and put that in the freezer until trash day. When I asked why she did this, she said it was because the trash cans got so smelly waiting for the pick up. This is a good idea ~ you just have to remember to get the garbage out of the freezer on trash day, too!

  9. roundabout says:

    Here in Toronto we have separate receptacles for garbage, recycling and compostable materials. Compost stuff gets picked up weekly (thankfully) and recycling and garbage are picked up every other week (they rotate).
    Here's our dilemma: we use plastic grocery bags as liners in our little compost bucket in the kitchen. But, as we are trying to move towards a grocery-bag-free lifestyle (using reusable bags instead) we are running out of our stash of plastic bags. I guess the only way forward is to give the little bucket a good wash-out daily … yuck.

  10. roundabout says:

    Here in Toronto we have separate receptacles for garbage, recycling and compostable materials. Compost stuff gets picked up weekly (thankfully) and recycling and garbage are picked up every other week (they rotate).
    Here’s our dilemma: we use plastic grocery bags as liners in our little compost bucket in the kitchen. But, as we are trying to move towards a grocery-bag-free lifestyle (using reusable bags instead) we are running out of our stash of plastic bags. I guess the only way forward is to give the little bucket a good wash-out daily … yuck.

  11. Katherine says:

    Here in Bristol we have the fortnightly wheelie bin collection (actually I'd quite like the purple Liverpool ones), but recycling and kitchen waste is collected weekly from our black boxes and brown bins. You could try nagging your council into doing the same and providing a weekly food waste collection. It works well for us – the main problem is figuring out where to store all these bins and boxes. If your council refuses to play along your other options include making sure you eat every single scrap of food that enters your house so there's no waste… starting up a compost heap and a wormery for cooked food (not necessarily practical in a small garden, but Wiggly Wigglers now do a "bokashi-empowered" kitchen composting range that promises to be whiff-free), or scraping food waste into compostable bio-bags before putting them into your bin to keep it more hygienic – I use these to line my food waste bin as it makes the job of emptying it so much less vile. I'm a bit of a compost/recycling queen mind you, I hate to see stuff going into landfill. Hope this helps.

  12. Sue says:

    There is nowhere more 'recycle mad' than Japan. We have no less than 9 catorgeries to sort household rubbish in to. Certain days, certain catorgories are picked up. Each street has a collection area and if you dare to put out the wrong type or get the days mixed up, self appointed rubbish inspectors (angry little old ladies) who live on the same street, bring it back to you. They sort through and find out who, exactly, it belongs to. Large items, plastic larger than 30cm, electrical items, furniture etc., have to be paid for removal by appointment with the local corporation. Also, you have to wash and clean everything thoroughly, tie newspapers and fold cloth. I am English and soon to be returning home. I am sure I will find it strange to just pile rubbish in a bin!

  13. Elaine says:

    Local Authorities have recycling targets imposed on them by central government – if they don't meet them then there are financial penalties (meaning higher council tax bills or cuts in service to compensate). We're running out of landfill – something needs to be done. Also, if it helps cope with the stinky bin thing – think of the better future you're leaving for your little 'un and try not to put as much stuff in there.

  14. Holly says:

    It seems to me the best way to keep from having so much to throw away would be for them to make the companys use minimal packaging.

  15. Elaine says:

    Also – most places have something like these guys – check your yellow pages http://www.wheelie-jet.co.uk/id1.html

  16. Anna Marie says:

    I live in Lancashire on a farm, and the council told me that they can't take our recycling due to "lack of resources." Rubbish collection is once a week, and though we were issued a wheeley bin, we have been told to put things in bags, in the wheeley bin, or the rubbish guy can't take it. He only has a small truck and can't lift the bin. Sooo…..we put our recycling in two plastic containers that are in the shed, we put out our rubbish in the plastic bags the council issued us, and then we use our wheeley bins for composting for our garden, putting food waste and grass clipping in there. When the recycling bins are full, we drive them down to the local centre (about 5 minutes by car).
    I think there has to be an easier way.

  17. This sort of collection started here fairly recently. The sanitation department has somewhat smaller bins available by request.
    One of my complaints is that it makes reduces my trash picking finds dramatically!

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