Where You Wheely Bin

April 29, 2021

OK so it’s been an exciting weekend

Sadly I didn’t get to witness the giant projections in person, but you can see them on this film:

After all that excitement, you’d think that Bin Day might have been a bit of an anticlimax, but no! Cycling down into town on Tuesday lunchtime, I spotted that our neighbour’s wheely bin had gained two pals as Bigtownshire finally joins the 20th Century and gets a doorstep recycling programme

Wheely bin with two recycling wheely bins

Indeed, all the wheely bins that had been put out on the route into town had company.

This left us (OK, me) slightly anxious that we had been left out as we don’t have a wheely bin so we hadn’t been given any pals for it. I made a mental note to phone up and check, but then forgot about it. And yesterday, having returned home after a somewhat frustrating day, for reasons that were only tangentially related to the coonsil, we discovered that we too have recycling facilities, in the form of two stout canvas sacks, a large red one for cans, plastic and packets and a slightly smaller one – as designed by someone who clearly doesn’t take a daily newspaper* – for paper and card. There’s also a handy leaflet and calendar so we can join the rest of the country in having impassioned discussions about what can and can’t go in the recycling and what is supposed to be going out when (in my experience, these leaflets tend to raise more questions than they answer in these situations).

Now all we have to do is wait for Actual Recycling Day to come around (12 more sleeps!). I know, you can hardly wait.

* Annoyingly, it’s got just slightly too small a footprint to fit an unfolded tabloid (as the Guardian now is). Who designs these things?


Exciting Refuse Collection News

March 12, 2021

As if this week’s gradual easing of lockdown (group rides may resume!) wasn’t excitement enough, the coonsil is risking tipping us all over the edge into hysteria with the announcement that Binday is about to get 300% more exciting.

As if the mild jeopardy of potentially getting the time wrong isn’t enough, come April we’re going to have to join pretty much the entire rest of the planet in knowing which bin (or, in our case, bag) to put out on which day. In other words, the coonsil has finally acknowledged that its fancy Italian waste recycling plant doesn’t actually work as advertised, and is bringing back doorstep recycling 11 years after it told us to recycle our old recycling bins.

Hilarious as it is to watch the local Facebook groups descend into apoplexy at the thought of having to sort their own rubbish and generally get used to A New Thing, the truth is, the system will actually present us with some difficulty. Our rubbish gets picked up from the road end, so it’s a nice 20-minute walk down there of a Tuesday morning with our one very light bag of rubbish (everything else being either composted or stored in the garage to be taken down to the waste recycling centre where they actually recycle things instead of turning perfectly good recyclable materials into road aggregate). We’d like to show willing with the new system but four-week’s worth of paper and card is likely to weigh a fair bit – not to mention the fruits of my can-collecting habit. It would be somewhat ironic if we ended up resorting to using the car on bin day just to do our bit for the environment.

Bike with trailer with recycling bin

We may end up just recycling the plastic bottles using the new system and continuing to run our own domestic recycling centre (where it does get driven down into Bigtown, but at least we can combine it with another errand). Such are the complications of attempting to do the right thing for the planet.

More on the topic, as they say, as this story develops. I know, you can hardly wait.


Bin Day Come Early

December 16, 2020

I’ve been known to joke on Twitter that bin day is the highlight of our week, but to be honest, it’s one of those jokes that conceal a half truth

Our rubbish goes out to our road end, which meant that during the first lockdown – when we were initially restricted to one state-sanctioned hour of exercise per day – Bin Day gave us the exciting prospect of an extra walk in the morning to drop off the rubbish (with the exciting prospect of a second walk at lunchtime to see if the bin men had been). It also means that we have colour-coded official council bags; they change the colour every year, for reasons which aren’t entirely clear but possibly to prevent a black market in surplus bin bags from developing. One of our neighbours excitingly got the colour wrong in deep lockdown and had to endure the sight of their bags of shame sitting at the road end uncollected for a week until they had a bright idea of adding a rainbow and ‘thank you keyworkers’ message on the bags which seemed to do the trick (it turned out they’d not been bothering to put their rubbish out up to now, just taken it down to the dump when they were going, so had fallen behind with complexities of the system).

Since then, we’re allowed out a little more but our daily state-sanctioned walk remains, and so does the slight frisson of Bin Day at a time when the days have a way of otherwise merging into one. So we were extra discombobulated last week when the other half reported that he’d gone down to drop the bags off and the bags that had been there earlier were already gone. Now it was our turn to endure the Bags of Shame (typically, it was a week when we had a few, having finally got rid of the Manky Pink Carpet). Clearly Bin Day – or rather, Bin Moment – had shifted a few hours earlier and we had been caught on the hop (the council do say you have to have the rubbish out by 7am but the binmen have never come before 10 before so we’ve tackled this task at our leisure).

This week, unwilling to be caught out again, we celebrated Bin Day Eve by strolling down to add our new bag to the Bags of Shame and then headed up at our normal time (what can I say, habits die hard) to see if the bin men had come early again, but they hadn’t. So now we’re thrown into uncertainty – do we put the bags out the night before, in the dark? Revert to our morning stroll and hope? Get up and get the rubbish out for 7am? Even if the bin men never come early again, we’re left with the lingering doubt that this week is the week that they might.

It is I suppose typical of 2020 that nothing, not even Bin Day can be counted on…

However, in exciting news, next year the Coonsil, after a gap of ten years, will finally join the rest of the country and resume doorstep recycling (or, in our case, road end recycling) which means a whole new system of coloured bags. I bet you can hardly wait. I know I can’t.