Recycling1I’ve had jolly good fun sparring with Norwich City Council about the farcical recycling service we’ve endured. This is the very same council that was the “winner of the gold award for ‘delivering through efficiency’ in the public sector Improvement and Efficiency Awards 2013,” and was “highly commended in the ‘most improved council’ category of the Local Government Chronicle Awards 2013.” Blimey. How bad were the also rans?

The volley of emails make for an amusing read which I thought I’d share.


I rang your call centre on Friday 3rd to inform you that, once again, my recycling had not been collected. Your agent told me it would be collected today. It wasn’t. This is now the fourth time the blue recycling bin and glass box (that I share with my neighbour) have been missed. The refuse collectors simply walk past them as if they weren’t there. Really, I have better things to do than spend my money ringing the council and my energies wheeling the bin up and down the pathway to and from my flat. Exactly what am I paying my council tax for? What do I have to do to get your contractors to do their job?


Your property is currently not down as a recycling collection, you currently received a weekly black sack collection. To change this we will need to put you on an alternate weekly collection, meaning one week will be general household waste and the next your recycling with a weekly food collection. Do you have room for wheelie bins?


I would be grateful if you actually took the time to read my message. Obviously, I already have a blue recycling wheelie bin and a green glass box which were here when I moved into the property last June. I share them with my neighbour on the ground floor of XX St Georges Street. I have never used a black sack collection service. I faithfully wheel our bin out each fortnight on the designated day. Sometimes it’s emptied. Sometimes it’s not. If by putting the property on some internal council recycling list means that my large bright blue wheelie bin is no longer invisible to the eye of the bin men who pass by then please add this property to that list.


As the crews use pda’s to tick off each property when a bin is collected, your address needs to be on the system for a recycling collection, that way they will know to collect it or we will know if it’s been missed. I will change your property to an alternate weekly collection and send a calendar to yours and your neighbour’s address.


I’m fed up contacting the Council to get my recycling collected. It was missed again last Friday (24th May). I rang (again) and was told by XXX that someone would call me back. Of course they didn’t. This has been going on for nearly a year. When will my recycling bins be emptied?


There are a number of properties on your road changing over this week to alternate weekly collections, this means one week your household waste and the next recycling, I did send a letter to your address last week explaining this and giving you a calendar for collection days. Was this received?


No, I have not received a letter from you. The last letter I received from the council was a couple of months ago advising me that our collection day was moving from Tuesday to Friday (alternate recycling/general waste). The manager of the council call centre rang me yesterday to tell me that I’m now on the ‘list’ for recycling and it would be collected alternate Tuesdays. XXXX rang me today to ask if my complaint had been dealt with. Who knows? Frankly, I’m still none the wiser. Is it Tuesday or Friday for recycling, general refuse or both? Perhaps you could put me out of my misery.


I apologise for all the different points of contact, I will confirm your days in writing and supply you with a calendar tomorrow. I will also hand deliver to make sure you get it.

This was the first apology I’d received. Did I get the promised hand-delivered note? Actually, I did.

Post Script: Alas, despite my best hopes and my faithful compliance with the glossy collection schedule I received, my general waste was left rotting by the wayside.  It’s enough to make a vigilante of an honest citizen.

14 thoughts on “Putting Me Out of My Misery

  1. Love it! One of the advantages of living in a third world country is that they haven’t heard of recycling. Rubbish gets collected out of rusty metal trash cans and thrown in the back of a flat bed truck. At least they come every Friday at 7.30 on the dot!


  2. Phew! Well, I’m glad you finally got your calendar. What irritating replies to your emails though, as if the left hand doesn’t know… I have a feeling this saga may not be over!


  3. sounds like turkey was better. you could just fly tip instead and be done with it.
    ps remember, it’s your blood pressure not theirs!
    pps only joking about fly tipping


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