Down from London: rubbish


This week I found out that the Mrs is on a watch list.

Turns out she had an altercation with Serco over a battered food waste bin. The word that got her sent to the wheelie sin bin was “vitriol”.

It seems the move to Canterbury has done wonders for her vocabulary, and I can only assume the Serco call centre is staffed by maiden aunts from a Jane Austen novel.

This brings me to my subject of the week: rubbish. Some might say that is the subject every week.

One thing that seems to unite the country in these fractious times is a sense of angry confusion at our bin collections. All of the memory space we’ve saved by not having to memorise phone numbers anymore is now occupied with the vagaries of the weekly bin collection.

Woe betide you if you put the wrong bin out, or even if the right bin is slightly over-full or not quite in the right spot. Modern bin men are as picky as particularly highly-strung Siamese cats, turning their nose up at the slightest imperfection.

Don’t even try to work out what happens at Christmas, it’s like somebody’s shaken up an ant farm and the bin men scurry madly all over the district, picking up bins on random days, then disappearing for months on end.

I suppose we should be glad that our council has found a company that can bring such excitement to something that seems so mundane.

This is all a relatively new to me. As anyone who has visited will know, in London we simply hurled our filth into the streets for the urchins and mud larks to comb over, before it was sluiced into the Thames.

It’s taken some time for me to be able to recognise which plastic is recyclable and which is general waste. We’re even on the waiting list for a red bin, due to the sheer volume of cardboard we seem to generate. From what I can work out the people with red bins are the elite, and I want to be part of that club.

Of course, it’s all helping to save the environment, and rubbish is not as simple as it used to be. Seems odd though, when the internet can deliver pretty much anything to your door, that taking the packaging away is getting more and more difficult.

Also, what happened to milkmen? There’s a convenient service from my childhood that would actually be quite handy now. Re-usable milk bottles and electric milk floats seem much more eco-friendly than the current options.

I don’t want to come across as one of these people who think everything was better in the past, but milk definitely was.

And music.

And football.

And my waistline.

I seem to have digressed somewhat from my original theme. Anyway, I’m off to put the blue bin out on the wrong day and see how many of my neighbours I can make follow suit.


  1. Oi sarpose Lord Ricketts ain’t yet be used to our country ways. If he be minded, he might try using this new-fangeld internet thingy. Thar you can foind orl sorts of helpful information. Milk deliveries, whot goes where in wheely bins. Praps its living in orl that there smog and urban decay has confused ‘im. And as a marketing pro-fesshnull ‘e moight like to try our local markets too. DFL? More doleful, like….


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