Very recently we had a new bin collection scheme introduced. This combined with our house clearing trips to the tip have made me aware of how much ‘rubbish’ has changed and how the authorities have cleverly moved the responsibility of how we dispose of unwanted items right into our court.
The weekly collection scheme has moved to an ‘every other week’ collection with added complications. They collect recycling one week and landfill the next as well as a small food waste bin that is emptied every week. With me so far because many of the residents are struggling to comply? They kindly sent out a fridge magnet with the weeks highlighted but ……….not one person we know is entirely sure what exactly constitutes recycling.
They don’t want glass only paper, plastic, small amounts of polystyrene and card. Here is where the issues start. What plastics do they really want. I have had many a discussion about plastic trays – some of which are marked with numbers to indicate if they can be recycled and some aren’t.
Moving onto the stuff we take to the tip …..
As you may have read we are rebuilding much of our house and the builders having arrived early decided they wanted to knock down our kitchen and bathroom sooner than had anticipated. We were left with a short space of time to clear everything out and I confess I put some bottles/boxes from the kitchen in a few black bags as I didn’t want to store vast quantities of condiments and took them to the tip.
They refused to take them on the basis that it would cause rats but advised me that the bin collection (of black landfill bags) would take them. I would normally empty the jars, wash them then take them to recycling. This is in fact what I ended up doing from my house without a kitchen in.
Then there is the question of clothes. If the clothes are good then we take them to the charity shop but if the clothes are past their prime and we have removed anything that would make reasonable cleaning rags there is no provision for these or old shoes to be left at the tip.
I was left standing by my car thinking I would be better off going home and digging hole in the back garden (just as they did for hundreds of years) to bury rubbish in.
The odd thing in all this is that we usually have very little rubbish and think of ourselves as quite good recyclers or reusers.