Friday, 21 August 2015

The latest rubbish collection

idea is rubbish. My paw landed on the paper this morning and, as I prowled back inside, I was greeted with words about a "sin bin fee". It turned out that this was a proposal to make people pay according to the amount of rubbish they put out for collection. 
One suggestion was that rubbish bins would get weighed and people would be billed accordingly.
I have heard of some ridiculous ideas but this is going a little too far. 
The Cat household is pretty good about recycling. Our local council provides three bins. 
There is the "green bin" for all garden waste. That can go out once a fortnight. Ours is sometimes empty so we don't put it out. 
There is the "yellow bin" (a yellow lid) for anything that can be recycled - paper, cardboard, bottles and more. That can also go out once a fortnight.
And there is the "blue bin" (a blue lid) that can go out each week. This bin is smaller than the other two. 
Our blue bin is usually less than half full when a neighbour takes it out into the street after adding her single bag of rubbish. She offered to do it as it saves her putting her own bin out at all.
By the time the compactor rubbish truck arrives in mid-morning our bin is often full - of other people's rubbish. Their own bins are over-flowing so they add their rubbish to ours or any bin which has space. Most of the additional rubbish comes from people who live in "the court"  - a group of units down a little lane opposite us.
If the bins were weighed we would be paying for their rubbish to be collected. If the bins were weighed people would sneak their heaviest items into other people's bins. Nothing would stop that here.
But, recycling? Our council used to have what was known as a "hard rubbish" collection. It was an annual affair. A date would be set and people could put out anything which would not normally be collected by the weekly collections. There was a size limit but it allowed people to put out old mattresses, fridges, microwaves, television sets, furniture, old fencing, bicycles and more. The streets would look untidy for a couple of weeks as things piled up. But, there was an advantage, other people would go along and pick up things they could use. 
The Senior Cat was a horror. Furniture meant timber. Timber is precious stuff. One year he brought home six solid dining room chairs. They were perfectly good apart from the fact that the seating cushions were vinyl and the vinyl had cracked. The chairs ended up as toys for children in need. There are still some drawers in the carport that "might be useful one day".  
A rather strange man who lived in the next street made his living from the hard rubbish collection. He would collect all the metal he could find, sort it and take it to the metal recycling place some distance away. 
Other people took other things. The grandfather across the road rescued and repaired two small bicycles for his granddaughters. 
But, they stopped that. It had nothing to do with the short-term hazards and everything to do with the fact that those collecting the waste were complaining there was nothing left worth collecting. That was surely as it should have been but they, quite naturally, wanted to make some money on the side. They got their way. People don't recycle in the same way. You can now book a  collection from the council under much stricter conditions.
I imagine that waste is piling up in some places. People won't comply with that.
And the same thing would happen if waste was weighed. What doesn't go in someone else's bin will end up in the back garden in most cases. 
We will left to weigh the consequences instead. 

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