I understand the principles of recycling. I know it’s for the greater good. And I know that by doing our recycling that we are making the world a better place in the long term. BLAH BLAH BLAH. But it’s not always that easy to do, is it?
I live in a block of flats in East London. Within our complex are four different apartment buidings, and we all share a number of wheelie bins. Some are for recycled rubbish, others for generic rubbish. But do you know what the binmen do when someone puts non-recyclables in the recycling bins? They slap a sticker on it which says ‘contaminated’, and they refuse to take it away.
Of course if this was a small wheelie bin for a single household then this makes sense. You’ve either made a genuine mistake or you took a gamble, dumped some unwashed plastic ready meal box in the wrong bin and you’ve been caught out. But when you’ve got one of those wheelie bins that’s the size of a skip and you share it with around a hundred other people, how are you meant to control any potential contamination?!? YOU CAN’T!
Recently one of our recycling bins got contaminated. The bin men popped a sticker on the offending object and refused to empty it. The bin area was so over-run with rubbish that rats from other London boroughs were moving in because they’d heard stories of the fabulous treats on offer. And what are we meant to do in this situation? No one is going to jump into a massive bin and rifle through shit looking for something that should be in the bin opposite.
Four weeks later the bin men took it away. And what had they proved? It was still contaminated, nothing had changed in that respect. They’d made our lives slightly miserable for a few weeks each time we deposited our rubbish. And they’d dfeinitely cheered up the rodent population of the capital. Hmmm… what else? Oh yeah, they’d proven themselves to be utter cunts by sticking to a policy that only suits certain situations. Nearly forgot about that, didn’t I?