Sunday, 3 February 2008

The Dangers of Recycling!

A few months ago I noticed I was limping because of a pain in my right foot. The whole foot felt as though it was on fire & really hurt when I walked. My chiropractor pulled the affected foot about & asked if there was anything different in my lifestyle. After a very long, hard think, I realized what had caused it. Recycling!

Since Sam & family had come to live with us, there seemed to be much more to recycle.  All his beer & lager cans had been stamped on to make them more compact, using my right foot. (After a course of treatment, the foot pain eased, but this cost a fortune!) As we give all aluminium to a church scheme sponsoring a little girl in India, I was becoming embarrassed by the sudden influx of beer cans & tried to arrange them at the bottom of the bag, hidden from view. Didn't want people thinking that Harry or I were were verging on alcoholism! Now I use a little hammer to flatten the tins & my foot is back to normal. For people like us, who have no garage, recycling can present problems. Our kitchen is overwhelmed by little bags, boxes & bins, each packed with something or other that we have been urged to save by the Council.

The large wheelie bins are only emptied once a fortnight, so we really do need to recycle or there'd be no room left for real rubbish & anything left outside the bin will not be collected.Just looking at some of the houses round here, with small front gardens filled with bags of rubbish, makes it obvious that they are multi let homes. The bins  overflowing with rubbish do attract rats. (I will write about MY rat very soon!)

The Council also provides a box for a variety of things, including paper, glass, foil, tins, spectacles, shoes, batteries & textiles. This is emptied every week & believe me, is heavy when filled! We have separate compost containers provided for house hold food waste & I also have two compost bins in the small garden, but have stopped using these for now, on account of the large number of  fruit flies that somehow or other find their way into the kitchen. For a small yearly rent we have another large wheelie that we can fill with garden waste & cardboard. All this is made into compost & probably sold at a profit by the Council. Bit of a cheek that!

All this recycling is very time consuming & you have to be fairly fit. If you don't get a hernia or slipped disc lifting the heavy boxes, or damaged feet crushing the drinks cans, then you might forget what goes where or which day things are collected. You really need to be with it! Oh, & I still have to walk half a mile to the nearest plastic bank as the Council does not yet pick up plastic for some obscure reason. Is our city unique with all this nonsense? And why don't we get a reward for all the hard work?

16 comments:

Retiredandcrazy said...

Oh Maggie May we are so on the same wavelength. This morning I was trundling everything up to the road to be collected at 0730 tomorrow morning thinking "why don't the powers that be fine the manufacturers for producing so much bloody packaging".

Recycling has proved that it's not us poor rate payers that are creating all this garbage. I had one very small black bag (for ordinarly household waste) and two huge bags for recycling paper etc and a green box for recycling glass.

I caught myself thinking "I need a little trolley to take all this stuff up to the road" before remembering that I am only a 19 year old cowgirl inside albeit that I am disguised as a 67 year old lady!

the mother of this lot said...

As you can imagine, with all these kids we have tons of rubbish, so I have two bins, both of which used to be brimming over on 'bin day'!
We've recently been given a plastic box by the council for plastic/glass/tin cans and I am amazed at how much less stuff there is in the main bins. Some weeks I only fill one.

It has got me thinking about other areas where we can 'go green'/ Here's something you might like to look at:

www.earthhour.org

I'm looking forward to doing this!

Maggie May said...

retired & crazy... sounds like you have quite a distance to go lugging your bags of stuff.
It is the manufacturers' fault that we have so much waste. The tiniest toy has masses of card & cellophane over everything. That horrible polystyrene is the worst.

Thanks motherofthislot for the website.I wasn't sure what to do at first as I'm a bit of a technophobe, but as usual, Sam came to the rescue & liked the site so much he is going to join up.
It is definitely food for thought.

GoneBackSouth said...

I completely agree with retiredandcrazy on this one. It makes me puke to see how much packaging is wrapped round everything, and it's completely un-necessary half the time. This sense of "we shouldn't have to do this in the first place, grumble grumble" brings a bitter-sweet edge to the good feeling I get from recycling. On a different note, Maggie May, thanks for being the first person to comment on my new blog. You made my day! It's fun, blogging. And clearly I'll never do any chores in the evenings ever again.

Mrs. Annie said...

All of which is why I have teenagers!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Barrie said...

What a cute post! We actually have a can crusher nailed to our fence. It never occurred to me that it was saving me from foot pain!

She's like the wind said...

Hi Maggie May, I've just come over from expatmum. Trying to hide the beer cans, that's so funny, you realise that when they tip the bag out the beer cans will be the last thing they see, although perhaps by then they won't know it was your bag as you'll be long gone. You can buy can crushers from Betterware! We had fortnightly uplifts for our refuse and everyone was up in arms, I got right in there, we have 2 boxes for plastics, tins, cans etc and then a canvas sack for cardboards, managed absolutely fine and after 1 year the council gave in and went back to weekly collections and I know people just fling everything in their bins because they can't be bothered. It really bugs me! Rant over, nice to meet you. x

Maggie May said...

gonebacksouth ......... I wish you every success with your new blog. Trouble is there aren't enough hours in the day to read all the other blogs out there that you want to. Thats before doing any writing of your own! I shall be visiting yours!

mrsannie .... thanks for dropping by. You have teenagers. Can be tricky. My grandchildren are living with me temporarily! 3 & 5 yrs olds can be lively too.

Sheslikethewind ...... glad you called by! I shall be ordering from betterware, thanks! Yes, I had thought of the cans being the last to fall out, but by then I will have scarpered!

OvaGirl said...

Hi MM, thanks for visiting me at l'eggs up...and enjoyed looking through your blog. Yay to Sam for setting you up (too late to warn you of how addictive it is).

Re recycling (!) it is a constant juggle here at the big House. Webasically have two families living in one house which is a lot of rubbish. Recycling is done fortnightly and the normal rubbish is weekly but is a tiny mean little bin and there have been hidious weeks where rubbish has had to be saved till after the bin is emptied. Ug! In the end Someone In The Family pinched another bin from up the lane, it had a wheel missing and was seemingly never taken in so it was assumed to be abandoned. Meanwhile, after months of crushing containers to fit in the container side of the recycling bin and tightly folding paper and cardboard to fit in the paper side of the recycling bin I finally saw the recycling get picked up by the council truck the other day. It was one of those mechanical garbage trucks and to my disgust all the carefully sorted paper and containers just WENT INTO THE SAME CHUTE.

david mcmahon said...

G'day from Australia,

Came here from The Mother of This Lot.

First visit here, enjoyed your writing style thoroughly!!

Maggie May said...

Glad to hear from you ovagirl. I would have been mad if I'd seen the recycling all thrown together. That is just not right.
At least we have several different vehicles picking up from our street at different times. If it all ends up in the same place then I'm glad I don't know about it!

Hello david mcmahon.Thanks for visiting me. Thanks for the compliment I shall be visiting yours.

Merisi said...

I followed David McMahon's lead over here. I think you should be named "Recycler of the Year"!
Ever since I moved to Vienna, I enjoy recycling, the city makes it very easy to do.

Expatmum said...

I have to say I have been following the "Wheelie bin wars" as I call them. I have read about hidden cameras (somewhere near Brighton I think), people's rubbish being weighed to make sure they're recycling as much as possible, and people being fined for putting out their rubbish on the wrong day. I mentioned the strict recycling rules in my book for Americans but clearly I'll need to do a book solely on recycling in the UK. It will of course be found in the humour section of book stores.
Thanks for the giggle!

Maggie May said...

Hi Meriisi ..... Thanks for visiting me. Looked at your fabulous photos & felt really overwhelmed! Wow!

expatmum ........... yes in the media we have been told about the cameras in bins & some people are cutting them out & sending them back to the council. Heaven help me if the weighing scheme comes in, at least while the family is here.We just manage to last the fortnight with strict crushing down & recycling.
Will have to get your book!

Ornery's Wife said...

David McMahon sent me over with his daily post of the day where you are listed. Lovely article, and I am sorry you have such lousy service there. We can pay for a little green bin for recyclables and they pick up twice a month, but I just haul mine to the local recycle center on my trip to the grocery. As I have started saving more paper and glass, I will probably break down and pay the $2.00 per month to have them come pick it up here.
TM

Maggie May said...

Many thanks for visiting me!
I will be over to you as soon as I can!
Our city seems to be better at recycling than a lot in Britain, but I think we are falling short of many other countries.