March 22, 2006

Invasion of the Wheelie Bin

The Bin.jpg
The Buckhurst Bin!

Since childhood I have never liked Science Fiction as I suffered nightmares about invasions from outer space and the like. I was also worried about George Orwell’s “1984”. I am now convinced that he was on the right lines, but got the year very wrong. What has actually happened is that Government and Local Authorities have been “infected” with an alien virus that has had a “Stepford Wives” effect on them.

The unwelcome visitor from Mars has arrived in the form of a large black container with a gaping mouth in its head. It moves on plastic wheels and is programmed by the Epping Forest District Council.

In that happy childhood away from the effects of aliens and automatons, I was always fascinated by our local dustman. He was a friendly chap who demonstrated his strength by lifting two galvanized dustbins at the same time; one on each shoulder and tipping them into his truck. He banged them on the edge of the lorry to encourage all the rubbish to fall into the receptacle then dropped them back into our front garden with a smile. No plastic sacks or bags then. No supermarkets! Only loads of potato peelings and cabbage leaves and a few paper carrier bags. Remember carrier bags?

We no longer have a dustman. We have a Recycling & Refuse Operative. He used to carry all our black plastic bags and throw them into his great big compactor. No smile from him as he had no need to return to the house after removing the sacks.

Now it has changed again, we have to live by the code of the wheelie bin! The EFDC tells us that: -

1. The bin must be left at the edge of our property with THE HANDLE FACING THE ROAD!
2. The lid must be closed, or the collector may not take it.
3. Extra bags will only be collected for the first three weeks of this new terrifying era.
4. After three weeks, if there are any extra bags, beyond those swallowed by the wheelie bin, the collector, after emptying the bin will replace these extras in the bin. We will have to protect them for another two weeks.
5. If we persist in leaving extra bags with the full bin, we may be liable to a fine of £100.

I feel that I have always been an honest, upright and law abiding citizen, but to think that this may end soon as I still intend to be clean and tidy and dispose of all of the detritus accumulated in a very normal household. If I am fined £100 on three occasions, I have to assume that, on the principal of “Three strikes and out” law that we hear may be placed on the statute books, I most probably will earn myself a prison sentence within the next year or so.

We are also being urged to recycle glass containers. This is a noble idea, but I am concerned at the request to ensure that all jars and bottles are thoroughly washed. Surely this means that we will be using more water – a commodity that is in such short supply we are told! This has totally blown my mind as I struggle to think up new ways of recycling water.

It also occurs to me that, if you live next door to a young couple with babies, they will probably use disposable nappies. These will now accumulate in the wheelie bin for up to two weeks. You don’t need me to draw a picture as to what a hot summer will do in this situation do you?

I am not normally given to writing articles with a political bias one way or the other, but feel that I just can’t let this one go without comment.

Posted by jeff at 10:34 PM | Comments (1)

March 06, 2006

Where I Live

01-BH sign.jpg

Today at the EFU3A monthly meeting, the photographic group held an exhibition of pictures on the theme of “Where I Live”. Each member presented views of their area. Obviously I concentrated on Buckhurst Hill and I was reasonably pleased that my photographs gave a taste of my surroundings. Checking of the link, you can see the ten views that I displayed.

Posted by jeff at 10:21 PM | Comments (1)