Sunday, 15 July 2007

Talking Rubbish

Politicians are not known for being over-endowed with common sense, and this story about the Commons local government planning committee shows why.

After considerable thought - after which, I assume, they will have needed a long lie down in a darkened room - the committee has concluded that "fortnightly rubbish collections may not work in every area and there is no proof they increase recycling."

Gosh, that's an eye-opener, isn't it? If anyone is still sufficiently deluded as to think that fortnightly collection is practical, I strongly suggest that they pay a visit to Salford, in Manchester. There, refuse collection has been erratic for a few weeks while the local bin men indulge in a little industrial inaction - i.e. the lazy buggers keep going on strike and missing collections.

The result is entirely as one might imagine - heaps of uncollected, festering garbage stacked up on street corners while stinking wheelie bins obstruct pavements. Why are they left on pavements, where they pose a risk to pedestrians and public health alike? Because residents have no idea when the bin guys might get off their ass and come to collect the garbage, and, even when they're "working", these guys absolutely will not retrieve a wheelie bin from its owner's property.

No, that would be far too much like the W word, wouldn't it? Residents must place their wheelie bin at the edge of their property - note, that means outside their property, not inside the boundary - if they want their bins to be emptied. Bins left on the "inside" of an open gate, for example, are ignored. Long gone are the pre-wheelie bin days, when bin men used to go up the drive to each house, carry the dustbin (and any extra bags) to the cart on their shoulder, empty it and bring it back.

Now, those guys knew the meaning of work, and were a credit to themselves and their city. Whereas, the current bunch of lazy good-for-nothings think they're hard done by if they have to push a wheelie bin more than six feet or so to the cart, and then stand back to watch as it is automatically picked up, emptied and brought back to Earth. Do they then return the emptied bin to the edge of the resident's property whence they found it? Do they hell, they're left at the edge of the road. And these professional skivers are striking, yet!

Still, at least they have ably demonstrated the sheer folly of fortnightly bin collections. Anyone with an ounce of common sense could have told the powers that be that this is an idea in the same league as inflatable dart boards, but that's nothing new, is it? As I said at the top of this post, common sense is conspicuous by its absence in the corridors of power.

Billy Seggars.

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