November 5th could be a virtual rubbish amnesty


Three bins stand in the yard. Recycling, garden waste and anything else that is left over. They present a life changing incursion into my domestic life, but none at all to John.

While I keep scrutinizing the handy chart provided to find out what goes in which, John just keeps chucking everything into the same old bin as before. No social conscience for him.

And a pair of sturdy rubber gloves for me as I retrieve all that he has thrown in and put it in the right container.

During the mild weather it has not been too much of a nuisance to go outside to fill each bin.

As I still only have the one kitchen waste receptacle, I keep all veg waste for example in a pan until I empty it to the garden waste bin, and store up glass jars, packaging, waste paper in old supermarket bags to take out to the recycling bin.

I am actually very surprised how little is left for the main dustbin, although visits by our ten month old granddaughter soon provide us with a malodorous collection of used disposable nappies.

We do have the option of the farm muck spreader. Traditionally feathers and guts from any poultry John has plucked go in there, to be spread with straw and manure from any muck out of the yard.

But the muck spreader is parked up at the back of the farm buildings and a long way to go for a few potato peelings or chicken carcase.

My info on the garden waste bin is that bones and waste from dinner plates can be mixed in with lawn cuttings for example. Seems an eccentric melange to me.

I did notice our dustbin men taking surreptitious and not so surreptitious glimpses into each bin as they were wheeled down the lane to the dustcart/crusher.

It will probably mean folk hide everything they do not want to be seen at the bottom of their bins and pile the rest on top. I have even heard rumours of a super sniffer test. Perhaps the bin men will bring bloodhounds.

I realised however this week that due to the efficient and zealous approach I have taken to this recycling and redistribution of rubbish, my recycling bin is already overflowing, and we are only half way to the next collection day. Meanwhile my general waste/everything left over bin is virtually empty.

“Don’t worry about it” a farming friend said. “It will soon be bonfire night.”

“What do you mean” I asked naively.

“It will mean the biggest bonfire burn ups since they stopped straw burning” he said.

“Not just on farms either, but for everyone trying to avoid a fine for the wrong stuff in the wrong bin. November 5th. A virtual rubbish amnesty.”

My conscience will be clear as we shall be in Scotland on Bonfire Night. I bet however that as the country lights up from the glow of thousands of bonfires of recyclable and not so recyclable rubbish, others will not be.