Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Set off.

Watch out, I'm on a moan. It's been a good day for things to moan about and it's what I do best, so shut it.

I don't create much rubbish and I recycle loads hence I'm more than happy with my local council's fortnightly bin collections. Were it not for the fact that the occasional bit of uneaten food would start to go a bit rank and attract rats or tramps I'd be quite happy to have it emptied every four weeks. In fact, I may campaign for this right and attempt to upset every Daily Mail reader in the country. (I do feel sorry for anyone unlucky enough to have to work for that organ. It must be awfully hard. Especially since they've run out of headlines now that the slump in house prices wasn't actually down to the Poles, thieving gypsies or single mothers but their own dear readers who worked in the city).

Unfortunately, several times since I have lived here, other people have taken advantage of my empty dustbin and dumped their own crap on me. While I can honestly say that occasionally I have dropped the odd sandwich wrapper or bagged dog poo in someone else's bin, it has only been as I was passing and only into a bin that had been put out for collection. I would not, for instance, dump recyclable stuff on someone. Or several large bags of rubbish. As my bins are possibly the furthest back from the road in the street, it also requires a degree of affort. Unless, of course, you only have a short trip. Like from next door.

During the last six months I have found several gentlemen's periodicals, drinks cans, bottles, bags of household waste and half-eaten takaways in my bin. Often I hear them being dumped, I've never yet been quick enough to catch the bugger at it though. Last Monday week, just before I put my bin out for collection I heard a noise, went out and couldn't believe what I found: three large bags full of brand new and barely used shoes, all size 5-7. Many with the labels still attached and paired. There were easily 40 pairs. Not only were there shoes, there were several hundred out of date anti-depressant pills, some tampons and a few dozen condoms (both items thankfully unused). There was also one torn-up utility bill identifying the culprit as my next door neighbour. Obviously they hadn't bargained on me actually wanting to put anything in my bin before putting it out or, for that matter, wondering why, in all that is holy, the bloody thing was full up with shoes and jonnies. If there's one thing I've inherited from my Dad it's the ability to spot that something may have a use (and the associated talent for hoarding loads of old crap), so there is now a pile of very decent flip flops and small clothing items in the hall that is slowly being ebayd.

However, it's not on and I called the housing. I moaned. They will act in a very general manner without fingering the culprits because despite their rather careless ways, my neighbours aren't all that bad and we do get on. They're both profoundly deaf so communication is a bit of a non-starter and the kids are lovely (apart from the regulation skateboarding emo son (how does one board with a permanent skulking hunch?)), if a bit on the noisy side. You would be if your parents didn't realise you were making any, I suppose.

Last night it happened again. 11pm I was in the lav. There was a bang from outside. I immediately ran down, lifted the lid of my bin and found a big white bag full of Asda curry containers, jars, cans and junk mail. Nobody in sight. It stinks and collection is not for another week. Thanks.

There is a bad principle here though and it's the one currently being posited by the major nations of the world. And my experience shows it up as being one that is fundamentally and appallingly wrong. You've all heard of the theory of carbon offset - where one nation, let's say the United of States for ease of argument, creates a huge cloud of pollution. It gets away with not doing anything about it for a while by saying to a developing nation that doesn't create much pollution that they'll use their allowance. In reality the big country are my lazy wasteful neighbours; they can't be arsed to either recycle, split their rubbish or even make attempts at reducing it in any way so once they've filled their bin up, they use mine, making a mockery of my effors to save the planet. Or at least not fill up its landfills. The same goes for all these little ofsetting schemes one sees all over the place. For every person out there who offsets, there are several without a conscience maintaining the status quo. It doesn't even have to be someone else - it's like poor dieters - you eat lettuce four days a week so you can have a chippy tea on Friday. If you're serious about it, do it properly from the outset. All those fancy schemes require admin that uses energy that creates pollution. Just cut down!!

To atone for writing this crap, I will put off owning a telly for at least another week.

***Stop press: I got back from writing this at a friend's house yesterday only to find that my bin was full of women's cosmetics. Two large white bags of shampoo and various assorted ungents. Had enough of it now.


The lying cheating coke fiend has been at it again. He now maintains that England won the 1966 World Cup because Geoff Hurst cheated. Get a life. The ball was "Thees far" in front of the line (Pudgey little hands held 18" apart). Listen. Hurst's goal was given. He hit it well and hard, nobody could really see. Maybe it was out, maybe it was just on the line. It was undeniably close. Who knows. The little cheating shit on the other hand was photographed with his hand of god on the ball in 86 and has dined out on it ever since. Oh, and don't forget, Diego, that England beat Argentina 1-0 in 66 after Rattin and his mob tried to scythe them off the park. To be honest pal, Terry Butcher would be doing us all a favour if he wrung your scrawny little neck instead of just ignoring you (T.Butcher 8'6" D.Maradonna 4'9". No contest). For once in my life I hope Scotland manages to win a game. Oh, and your goal in that game wasn't that special either. George Best would have run rings round you and he had wit and charm to go with the talent. Tosser.

6 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Dave said...

Could you drill a hole in the lid and fit a padlock (taking it off, obviously, when you put the bit out)?

Or get a large cardboard box, that completely fills the bin, and keep it there, just taking it out when you want to put your own rubbish in.

5:36 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Dave, knowing my luck I would get done for criminal damage.

6:01 pm  
Blogger Carol said...

I had the same problem until the 'lady' at the end house moved out, she used to put recycle stuff in my refuse bin along with grass clippings and even steal the bin from time to time

Out of curiosity, did you speak to the neighbours first before calling the housing? I am sure it is not going to take a genius to work out that the dustbin owner must have been the one to complain.....

3:37 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Carol, they're both deaf so speaking to them isn't without problems (their car alarm goes off regularly and of course, they don't hear it). I haven't "called out" the housing, I've told them because it's the principle involved. They have issued a general letter to all tenants. As far as the neighbours are concerned, they don't know that I know it's them. Anyway, I've now got about £50 worth of premium hair care products that need a home.

11:48 am  
Blogger Sharon J said...

You did remember to pull up your trousers before legging it down to the bin, didn't you?

I would have been inclined to put a polite note through their door (rather like the one we received about "noise" shortly after you moved in) if they're generally amiable people.

With regards to carbon offsetting, nobody lives a perfect life and at least offsetting is better than doing sod all, which far too many still seem to think is ok. If I throw a plastic bottle into a general bin now and then it still isn't creating anywhere near as much of a problem as it would if I thought "if you can't do it all, don't do it at all" and just chucked 'em in any old bin the whole time. Your neighbour's shit would still have gone to the landfill regardless but at least there's less there thanks to your own recycling efforts.

4:26 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Luckily I wasn't involved in any activity in the bathroom other than drying my hands.

The point about offsetting (and the auctions started this week) is that why should those countries that have either a small carbon footprint because they are undeveloped or are more conscientous be the polluting world's virtual dustbin?

12:24 pm  

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