Recycle for NorwichWhat does this bog blue box on wheels look like to you? There’s a small clue stamped on the side. Yep, looks like a recycling wheelie bin to me too. So why is that the butch bin men of Norwich City Council (or refuse disposal executives or whatever fancy names they give themselves these days) walk past it as if it were invisible? Several fruitless calls to the over-imposing art décor city hall (the huge building that can be seen for miles and which the Luftwaffe failed to hit during a bombing raid) have not established why the vibrant blue box I share with our fabulous neighbour seems to merge inconspicuously into the brown-red brick backdrop at the very moment the bins around us get emptied. Apparently I’m not on their list and so I don’t exist. So put me on your list, I said. Right away, they said. Must have slipped their minds. I’m waiting for a call back from a very important supervisor-type person. Still no joy. That must have slipped their minds too. Exhausting work, this bean-counting business. I know, I used to be one of them. Over to UB40 who famously sang in 1981 (during the last great depression):

On in Ten

P.S. I know the green glass box (also invisible on collection day), does make it look like we’re a couple of old lushes but I would say in our defence that it’s two weeks worth of empties and our neighbour also has a wee dram from time to time.

On the subject of recycling, you might also like And Then There Were Three.

19 thoughts on “A Number on a List

  1. We, in the London Borough of Brent, appear to be very lucky with our ‘Binmen’. We have 3 bins; green for garden and food waste which is collected weekly, grey for general household rubbish collected every other week and blue for dry recycling which is collected every other week. Even with Bank Holiday days off our bins are still emptied when they should be as long as they are put to the front of the property. 🙂

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  2. Brent collects and so did Ealing when we lived there. Mostly.
    Here in Selçuk the communal bins across the road are emptied every day except Wednesdays and the occasional bayram.

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    1. I remember the daily collections in Bodrum (twice a day in the Summer). Our standard waste gets collected fine. It’s the recycling they seem to have a problem with. Computer says no!

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  3. I like your shade of blue box and recycle box much better than ours. Here we are lucky if we get ours back NOT smashed up when the pickup is made on garbage day. And, we have to buy new ones but does anyone hear us?

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  4. Recycling has become more complex it seems. Your other box doesn’t look too bad, if that is really two week’s worth! 🙂 I remember a certain family holiday in France years ago, when we tiptoed down to the bottle bank at dead of night to deposit our sinful load of empties!

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  5. Well done for shaming Norwich Council – with so much emphasis on greener living these days you’d think they’d sort it quicker than you could say ‘Landfill!’ Booooo, hisssss….

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  6. Similar problems here in the colonies. Cardiff council tell us that they effectively have little control as the collection people are now contractors since privatisation and staff change almost weekly as all on schemes or minimum wage. The supervisor is council staff but apparently the bin crew virtually laugh at him when he’s telling them off or reporting complaints. Never mind at least the dudes owning the firm who got the contract are making a mint eh?

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