The title should be shouted in a Black Country accent, and refers to a dodgy 1970’s sit-com.

Tomorrow is refuse collection day and also the recycling collection day ( which in my district is fortnightly, or rather fortnightly according to the mysterious chart issued by the district council).

I have been fully committed to saving the planet since I was in my teens – I wanted to be an environmental scientist when I grew up , for goodness sakes, but my local DC does it’s best to put me off the idea by making it SO awkward, and the local wildlife don’t help!

Anything stored in my bin/meter cupboard must be mouse-proof, as the local field-mice seem to believe I’m running a mouse hotel. An empty cardboard box or a pile of paper is an invitation to move in. So, what are we provided with for recycling – an open -topped black plastic box. Consequently I have to store all my newspapers in a lidded plastic bin and then empty them into the designated receptacle for collection. Which I then have to carry to the roadside. Given the newsprint and journals I get through in a fortnight it’s not exactly caring to my back – but this is a requirement for the care of the backs of the DC employees. A box with wheels on would be great.

Cardboard and shredded paper cannot be recycled along with newspaper – so it must be put with garden rubbish, and would you believe, food waste, in the brown PAPER sacks which go for composting. So that all has to be rounded up from the garage, if the mice haven’t had it,  and taken to the roadside for collection. I have a composter in the garden , so most garden waste goes there, but anything large ( which is all I need taking away) won’t fit in the paper sacks – so I have a 10 mile round trip in the car to the tip, which is hardly saving the planet.

Bottles are collected, but must be sorted by colour in separate plastic bags. The elderly chap two doors down puts his beer empties  out in the cardboard box they come in  – seems sensible, but no – the refuse collection operatives ( binmen) take the bottles and leave the cardboard box, because the cardboard has to be picked up by the other lorry – which has often  already made it’s collections , 

The penny-pinching nature of the service is annoying; the bizzare collection schedule is frustrating, and the rules are enough to make you throw everything in black sacks and say SOD IT! The really annoying thing, is that in the next county Suffolk have an incredibly efficient  and well-managed system and recycle everything, including plastic, and provide wheely- bins of varying sizes. (The only thing they won’t take from the door is glass, but all supermarkets tend to have recycling points for bottles so its no great hardship for people with cars.)