Ever since I learned from
Bexley’s very useful waste leaflet that I could put orange
juice cartons and butter tubs into the recycling bins my residual rubbish has
fallen from two, very occasionally three, plastic carrier bags full to only one.
Most recently the wrapping around a sliced gluten free loaf, some greasy paper
after a fry up and a data CD I had made for a friend but which I had put on line
for him to download instead. There was a crisp packet too but not much else. Cabinet member Peter Craske
should look upon me as a good friend but I would guess he doesn’t.
As I have a Friday collection and I was away for Christmas I left my green bin on my drive so as not to obstruct the footpath and hoped the dustman would be kind enough to come on to my property when he did his round on Sunday morning. If he didn’t it was of no consequence, keeping it another fortnight wouldn’t matter.
When I returned home late on Sunday evening I found my bin blocking the drive, which was not unexpected, but I wasn’t pleased to see rubbish strewn across the road, my own garden and my neighbour’s.
My email Inbox told a similar tale from elsewhere in the borough.
After picking up the rubbish from both gardens and the road this morning I realised that almost none of it was mine. A toothpaste tube of a type I do not use, remnants of cheese which I never eat and soup cans which were not mine. (Full of ‘poisonous’ gluten!)
I decided to check my CCTV to see what these useless bin men had been up to.
With the bin carrying a load of no more than a couple of ounces, a gust of wind during the afternoon of Christmas Day had sent it skidding backwards on its two wheels to be plonked on the footpath at a crazy angle but still upright. More than 24 hours later someone unsteady on his feet bumped into it and knocked it over. Not long afterwards my carrier bag went bowling down the road out of sight.
When the binman came he looked into the bin, lifted it upright and pushed it back on to my drive where it still was when I came home. Hmmm. Not so useless after all.
Perhaps I should in future add a few bricks to the rubbish bag, but the question of where the unrecognised rubbish came from remains. The party poppers certainly weren’t mine. Maybe someone further down the road suffered the same windy fate as I did.
If you have a bin man problem what you really need to do is to catch them in the act which is what happened to a BiB reader yesterday.
She lives in a flat sharing a communal bin which not only had its normal number of black sacks but the extra generated by Christmas. As soon as one bag was removed the pile fell down and Serco’s finest simply left it but not before the refuse truck’s registration number was snapped. The operatives too but it’s probably best not to show you those.
The face of refuse collection is changing, maybe I no longer need a big green bin. A small bag at the bottom of a 140 litre bin is not easy to get out and I have to hook it to the lid in case the bin man has short arms. Maybe that nice Mr. Craske could think about a small box for the real rubbish too? One without wheels that is not at the mercy of the wind. Even when the bin is parked by the side of the house I have to tie it to a drain pipe to stop it being blown over.
Not collecting rubbish from flats may be the post Christmas norm. This is what those nearest to my address looked like this morning.
I used to think I had a good idea of who abused the nearby communal bins but a week or so ago I found him trying to decontaminate the paper bin and poking retrieved plastic bottles through the correct orifice and complaining about who does these things. It was either a very good act or I have been suspecting the wrong man.