21 October 2020

Bins

They stand like sentries on our front paving. Bins. The blue one is for paper and cardboard. The brown one is for glass, cans and plastic bottles. The charcoal grey bin is for general household waste.

The charcoal grey bin is collected by the local council every two weeks. The blue bin is emptied every four weeks and so is the brown bin. A few people in our street have large green bins too. These are for garden waste. You have to pay an annual fee for the green bins and they are emptied six times outside winter months.

I don't know how it is in other countries but in England household waste and recycling collections vary from city to city and from region to region. It is very frustrating. There should be commonality driven by government.

As well as the three "official" bins we have two more bins at the front of our house. Here they are:-
We have been using them for more than a decade now. I bought them myself. You are probably intrigued. What on earth do The Puddings put in those bins? Well let me take one of the lids off and show you:-
It's all the plastic waste that we are not allowed to put in the brown bin. Instead of chucking this in the general household waste bin, we collect it and then when the two bins are full I take them to one of our large local supermarkets where there are skips into which you can toss such waste. Most homeowners don't bother. They dispose of it in their charcoal-grey bins.

When Clint and I take our round bins, I make sure that it is as part of a shopping expedition. Just a short diversion. After all, it wouldn't make sense to use precious petrol just for a recycling trip. That would be something of an ironic contradiction.

There are a four rambling points I would like to make about those excess plastic bins:-

1) Local councils should be collecting all plastics - not just plastic bottles. I should not have to be going to all this trouble - month in, month out.
2) It's not clear what happens to waste plastic. Where does it end up? I don't want it to travel to Indonesia or Sri Lanka or China on ships. There should be full-scale recycling facilities closer to home. Has all our effort been in vain?
3) Local councils and their profiteering waste sub-contractors should be transparent about their procedures. They should be clarifying what can and can't be collected and explaining, for example, what is meant by "contamination".
4) Supermarkets and the businesses that supply supermarkets with products should be making a much bigger effort to reduce the enormous amounts of waste plastic that they are effectively responsible for creating.  It should not all be about making profit - there should be environmental  responsibility and action too - and definitely not just a bunch of empty words - paying lipservice to recycling.

Recently, the great David Attenborough was asked by a child if he would like to give people a message about the perilous state of our planet and his response was simply this: "Don't waste anything...Don’t waste electricity, don’t waste paper, don’t waste food. Live the way you want to live but just don’t waste".

It's a good message but we all need help to make it happen. We cannot do it on our own.

75 comments:

  1. I'm not as optimistic as you are. Some people can not be helped. Areas are different so sometimes different procedures are required. We have green blue and black bins. They are picked up every two weeks.

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    1. It is surprising that you don't have a Red bin.

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  2. Oh, such communist thoughts with one system for all. We too have the same absurd situation and since China has refused to take our badly sorted recycling material, it has turned things upside down. Private waste management companies have gone to the wall. Recycling centres have caught fire. Illegal used chemical storage places have caught fire. Tyre recycling centres have caught fire. It has become clear that more needs to be paid for the disposal of waste and recycling material and there needs to be a standardisation of disposal bins on a local level, state wide at least. Most people want to do the right thing but at times it is impossible. Our council tells us plastic marked with the symbol and numbered one to five is accepted. Others say, if it springs back to shape after crushing it, it is fine for recycling. Who knows? Not me! Sorry for the blog post in your comments.

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    1. No need to say sorry Andrew. It's nice to know that a fellow from Down Under is as passionate and annoyed about recycling procedures as I am. Consistency and clarity are surely important if recycling is to proceed effectively.

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  3. Well said David Attenborough. In our town we have a choice of several different trash companies and we pay for the service. They provide a large bin and pick up the trash once a week. We have recycling centers we go to for items that can be recycled. This does vary in different cities though. Kansas City has free trash service in the city limits. The only other thing I can say about our trash service is that our cat, Zeus, loves to watch the trash men when they come!

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    1. So what you are saying is that there are no arrangements for picking up recyclable materials from people's homes?

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  4. We have recycling boxes for tin, glass, cardboard and plastic but I agree most wholeheartedly that the types of plastic should be marked. We also have the gardening bin which is invaluable during the time it is emptied.
    Yesterday there was a programme on the Green Movement, 50 years it has been around and still only one Green politician. But the people who have now aged with the years such as Tony Juniper had an optimistic note. Though looking at our seas in which we have dumped everything it is hard to see light at the end of the tunnel.

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    1. So you are allowed to put ALL types of plastic in your recycling box?

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    2. Well you made me look it up, this is what our council say...

      "After your wheelie bin is emptied into the back of our collection vehicle the waste is tipped at the Kirby Misperton Waste Transfer Station. The waste is then bulked up and transported to the Allerton Park Waste Recovery Plant where it undergoes different processes to remove materials such as metal and lower grade plastics (that we can’t collect from the kerbside) for recycling.

      Food waste is separated off and anaerobically digested to produce biogas and the remaining waste does not go to landfill, but is used to generate electricity. Diverting this waste away from landfill means it can be used to generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 40,000 homes. The remaining ash is used to produce concrete breeze blocks for the construction industry."

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    3. The words in brackets: (that we can’t collect from the kerbside) are I think significant. What exactly are they talking about?

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  5. Here, in Harpenden, we come under St. Albans DC and we have 3 wheelie bins. Green for garden waste, black for plastic, tins and glass, and brown for everything else apart from newspapers/magazines, envelopes and cardboard...they go in a black box! Food waste has a green caddy. One week the brown wheelie and food waste is collected and the following week the others ( including the food waste) A couple of miles up the road in Bedfordshire there is a completely different set of wheelies and collections!
    When the old lady that I helped to look after was alive, I had trouble with the carers just lobbing their lunch waste ( sandwich packs, drink cans etc) into any bin that was nearest I think, and I had to sort it out all the time....leaving notes for them didn't seem to help! ( I did try and be polite but it was hard!!). If there was continuity across the country it would have been so much easier.

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    1. I wonder why they were called "carers" if they didn't "care" where they put their lunch waste.

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  6. We have four bins here. Garden waste which we have to pay extra for. £25 a year.
    A bin for clean cardboard and paper, no pizza boxes.
    A bin for tins, glass and plastic.
    A bin for household waste that cannot be recycled.

    I have no idea where it goes when it leaves here.

    I used to live at 192. Or "Directory enquiries" as I used to call it. I think you're old enough to remember them!

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    1. Directory enquiries? Never heard of them. I guess I am too young for that. Can you remember when King George VI was on the throne Christina?

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  7. How much energy is wasted running hot water cleaning items for the recycling bins? Then waste biste collectors or domestic cars use energy to take it to recycling centres. We burn paper in our kitchenrange and I compost garden waste. In Portugal and Austria there are litter bins just for plastic. Biodegradable plastic could be used for food packaging and shops could wrap things in paper and we could use string bags.

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    1. Use cold then. It'll do. Though, yes, the amount of water we use for the "cause" does weigh heavily on my mind. Not on our behalf. But on that of areas in the world where water is truly precious, not abundant.

      U

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    2. It is an issue. We put the plastic items in our dishwasher whenever we have a load to begin. There's another story!

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  8. Waste biste? Then waste bin collectors..

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    1. I though "biste" was another peculiar Irish word like "boreen"!

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    2. I believe a lot of recycled rubbish is often ordinary rubbish placed in the recycling dustbin. China and the Far East have stopped processing European waste. There are incinerator plants even in Ireland. But people complain about the dioxins. Perhaps plastic should be banned? Except for polytunnels?😀

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    3. No. I think polytunnels should be outlawed too. They are a blot on the landscape. Any owners who refuse to remove them should be flogged in public squares or marketplaces urged on by the crowd.

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  9. We have four bins collected at two or four weekly intervals for all recyclable, garden and non-recyclable waste. The service is included in our rates (household tax). We also have a recycling facility for everything else that won't go into the bins. The problems start when one goes behind what happens when it gets to the recycling centre and thereafter. We are a wasteful society and we need learn better habits and practice what we have learned. But that can be written about many aspects of our lives.

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    1. Are we all being conned about recycling?

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    2. To a degree, I think we are, yes.

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  10. Waste? Recycling? A subject dear to my heart. In as much as one can be passionate about that which has been, is no more, and ends up - most likely - in landfill I am PASSIONATE. And if you so much as drop a banana skin for someone else to slip on I'll run after you. And smile. Dangling your banana skin. A reprimand delivered with a smile so much more effective than John's method of mentioning cheap shoes (sorry about the dig, John).

    My dear YP, deep breath: What you need to do first is to teach people to READ. Yes, read. Let's start at entry level. Kindergarten: Glass bottles. Even the dense know what constitutes a glass bottle. Provided they can be arsed they might even find the right container. Next grade, Infant school: Household waste, as in: stuff that can't be recycled. Though one wonders how the even denser are supposed to know what is recyclable and what isn't. Higher Education: Mixed recycling (paper, cardboard, tins, plastic).

    If you are frustrated with your situation, YP, try inner city living where bins are often shared between several households (say, in blocks of flats). The bins are often large containers. I like people. I bear no ill will to anyone. Yet, waste disposal and how thoughtless people are tests even my patience, makes me despise some of my fellow human beings. Which reminds me: Our city here at the South Coast of England puts our council tax to good use. Green as green can be by which I also mean expansive parks and ancient trees. The council, within the restraints of their budget, does its bit with public bins dotted around the city centre where people, on the hoof, can dispose of their rubbish in passing. Recently they nailed five or six questions to these bins asking people why so many can't be arsed. Appealing to their public conscience, communal spirit. It's pretty shaming. Enter me, the sceptic. For people to take this on board, and being shamed into altering a bad habit, first they need to show and interest and READ. See above.

    Fact is that although England is improving what is still being tolerated here wouldn't be in the motherland. Basically, either by osmosis or our mother's milk, Scandinavia and Germanic speaking countries do keep their noses and their streets clean. And don't get me started on overflowing bins and seagulls coming in for rich pickings, littering the streets with debris extracted from overflowing bins. Luckily I live in a pretty upmarket area where not least restaurants will tidy others' neglect.

    Thanks for that, YP. I now feel worse.

    U

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    1. I really do seem to have opened up a can of worms there Ursula! Please do not take that literally. I am not suggesting that your skull is just a big can filled with wriggling pink worms. My reference was metaphorical. By the way, which south coast city do you inhabit? Please do not feel obliged to answer. You may put my question in the household waste bin if you prefer.

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    2. Your reference was metaphorical? That's even worse than the literal. Never mind. Whatever feeds or erodes the grey matter. I am past caring.

      You, YP, are the master of the flippant (in your replies - not your posts). Bit disheartening at times. Still, as the Angel would say, it is what it is. Live with it. And I do.

      U

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    3. It must be Southampton then.

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    4. Careful now. I once encountered a blogger who was so proud of herself having "discovered" the Angel's name she plastered it all over the place. A sort of "look how clever I am". Considering that she had studied science at Stanford/USA on which she prides herself she clearly missed the lesson on boundaries. Which reminds me, when will that post, promised by you, re internet etiquette materialize?

      Talking about cities starting with "S", I see that Sheffield will now shed a tear or several over being Tier Three condemned.

      U

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    5. Where's my handbell? Unclean! Unclean!

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    6. I am curious as to why Ursula seems to consistently need to take digs at another blogger on unrelated blogs. It seems somehow beneath a person who appears to be so upper class.

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    7. "Consistently"? I don't think so, Ms Moon. On YP's blog twice. And only when addressed by the culprit (plus, in fairness, the above dig - richly deserved).

      In answer to your question, and assuming YP allows me to do this here, let me satisfy your curiosity. The blogger in question has developed an irrational dislike of me. Which is fine. It happens. What is not so fine that he will give me a bad name again and again and again. He stokes fires among his adoring readership (according to one of his blogging friends largely a bunch of elderly American women who are thrilled, nay titillated, at being "friends" with a gay guy).

      His reasoning so limited, the chip on his shoulder so heavy, he keeps deleting any comment of mine whilst still letting my name stand (in the comment box) and his replies to me. He calls me things like "arse hole". He tells me "to fuck off". That's roughly how far his intellect reaches. How far his reasoning can be stretched. This in reply to even the most gentle of comments of mine, indeed complimentary comments I left him. The guy's hatred knows no bounds. So I have learnt to leave it. Took me some time. Too long. Now he "engages" with me on other people's blogs. That's ok. Whatever. At his disposal. His game ain't Cricket, Ms Moon. "Fair play", the great British mantra, doesn't even enter his sphere.

      On the other side of the argument, and I accept this, one might wonder, and I do, why I ever engaged with him in the first place. Or, rather, why I didn't give up when the writing was on the wall. HA! Now we are onto one of MY shortcomings. I never give up. Until I do. With a delay worthy of a traffic jam on the M25.

      The person in question is in a sticky net of his own making. You know: Moth drawn to the flame, mosquito to the fly catcher.

      If you wish to extinguish a fire you don't pour oil on it. And he does this again and again and again. Not by any coherent reasoning one could engage with but by keeping my name alive - on his blog and elsewhere. The best he can come up with at anyone who annoys him, say in a supermarket, apropos of nothing. is pointing out "cheap shoes". Where would that get him with me since my shoes are eye wateringly expensive? Standing in a puddle?

      "Upper Class", Ms Moon? Not really. I am not English. So I don't do "class". I do classy.

      U

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  11. Similar situation here in Germany; different bins for different materials but different rules for different areas, usually by city or Landkreis (a city with a certain administrative radius).
    It can all be very confusing and is not helped by the kind of thing happening that Ursula mentions - when bins are shared. In my case, there are four flats in the building, and we share a number of bins for general waste, cardboard, plastic/glass and biodegradable waste. Time and time again, things are put in the wrong bin. Technically, our city's administration is entitled to fine us when we are found out - I am not exactly willing to pay a fine for what I consider not being my fault.

    As you say, transparency is often lacking reg. what happens to the various types of waste once they have been collected. Local administration is rather good at that; there is plenty of information available online and on printed leaflets, brochures and so on.

    All things considered, I try to buy things with less packaging, and I waste very, very, VERY little - I rather buy less food stuff than throw out anything. Can't completely avoid the occasional last bit of bread turning mouldy, but it really happens very rarely.

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    1. We hardly throw away any food. We compost peelings etcetera and if there is stale bread we feed it to the birds. Germany is often held up as a paragon of virtue when it comes to recycling so it's interesting to find you revealing that there are also issues over there.

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    2. You do have a compost heap, YP. That's great. Lots of people don't.

      And, yes, Germany is a paragon of virtue - in respect of the subject of your original post. Whenever I visit friends and relatives in the motherland I am baffled at their bins. Give me a maze. Show me the way. And woe WILL betide (the householder's) should you get it wrong.

      Also, let's remember, unless Meike knows otherwise, Germany is the country of "Pfand". So for every bottle you bought, if you return it to the point of purchase, you'll get your "Pfand" back (say, for sake of argument, 0.20 cents). That's the thing, YP, give people an incentive. Preferably a monetary one. Forget about ideology, the planet. As long as you get something "back", something shiny, you'll be motivated. Nothing feeds better than greed.

      U

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  12. Just popping in to report that Living on the Veg is now streaming on Australian SBS Channel.

    In Cairns we have a two bin system. Green/Red lidded wheelie bin for general refuse, collected weekly. Yellow lidded wheelie bin for recycling (cans, glass, paper, cardboard and plastic ... all in together) collected fortnightly. Our wheelie bins are not as big as your wheelie bins .. maybe 2/3 the size?

    Just learned that Ian's grandfather was an "arable farmer" and his grandmother was a "wonderful cook".

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    1. Ha-ha! We knew that "Living on the Veg" was going to be screened in Australia but I didn't realise it would be so soon! Thanks for that Carol. I will phone him in a little while. It was Shirley's dad who was the arable farmer - not mine.

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  13. At the moment all our recycling goes into the same blue bin but I think the local council is proposing an additional recycling bin so that paper and plastic and glass can be separated. That would give us a total of four bins - good thing we have plenty of space here. The country is being taken over by multi-coloured wheelie bins.

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    1. They are like Daleks! Thank heavens that they have not yet come to life!

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    2. Wasn't there a Dr. Who programme in which something like that happened?

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    3. I was never a fan of Dr Who so I do not know. However, I liked the way the Daleks talked. "Exterminate! Exterminate!"

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  14. We don't have individual dustbins here, but there are an abundance of huge rubbish bins, dotted about on each urbanisation. The bins are have different coloured lids and about the size of a small family car. Grey lid for general household waste (emptied six days a week), blue for cardboard and yellow for all plastics - both emptied when they are full. Sometimes there are green dome-shaped ones too - for glass, and a separate one for ceramic-ware.
    It's also common practise to leave any other household items beside the bins for the "tatters" to collect. At the beginning of the holiday rental season I estimate that there are the contents of a whole house thrown out at least once a week! Items such as mattresses, beds, dishwashers, ovens, fires, tables, chairs, sofas - in fact everything you'd need to furnish your home, inside and out - if you weren't too fussy!
    With garden refuse, it depends if you do your own gardening - in which case it is supposed to be bagged, or tied up (in the case of tree branches, palm fronds etc) and left neatly beside the bins. Annoyingly much of it just piled up next to the bins and left to spill all over the road. If you have a gardener (as many do here) then they have to pay to take it to a re-cycling centre, where it's turned into compost.
    Unfortunately there are only two local supermarkets that collect used batteries and lightbulbs,(which we can't put in with the general rubbish or the glass bins) and every time I've been to drop mine off, their very small bins have been overflowing, so there is a need for more collection points
    Most days I take my small bag of general waste, as we go on the dog walk - there are at least four lots of bins on our circuit, so I can't complain. What I do complain about is the amount of plastic I seem to acquire. It's almost impossible to buy anything - especially food - that isn't encased in a plastic container! However at the present time I'd rather have my food plastic wrapped - much more hygienic and easier to sanitize.

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  15. We just forked out £38 for a brown bin. It's better than queueing for up to an hour at the tip with bags of garden stuff, spiders crawling all over the car. They empty it every two weeks. It has been full every time so far. (We also have 3 compost heaps on the go).
    I knew someone who had so many plastic bags drying around her house I thought she must have a plastic bag cycle on her washing machine.

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    1. Thanks for the picture from southern Spain Senora CeeGee! If only we had places where we could dispose of our palm fronds here in South Yorkshire!

      Spiders in the car when heading to the tip? I know exactly what you mean Sir Tasker.

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    2. Am I in Spain? I must be on the plain.

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    3. The plane has already landed.

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  16. In the US, waste management is as diverse (and lackluster) as you describe in the UK. And often controlled by some less than savory businesses backers (mob). It varies not only by state, but by individual counties/towns/cities. In our (somewhat) rural community, one must pay a commercial garbage company to pick up once a week, but they don't do any recycling (even though our taxes do have a waste management fee). Instead, we bought our own bins and my DH takes all our trash to the local dump. We separate out paper/cardboard in our own container, then put all recycling items (most anything with triangular markings accepted) in a county-provided yellow bin (we have two). When DH goes to the dump, he carries each bin to its appropriate station.

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    1. I applaud DH and yourself for this but you should not have to be driving to the dump. The "system" should be addressing this issue and providing a proper public service. How can we begin to save the planet when the most powerful nation on earth turns a blind eye to such matters?

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  17. Since the pandemic began, our county doesn't even pretend to recycle. They took the recycle bins at the dump depot away. I had heard that plastics weren't being recycled anyway. As to glass and paper and cardboard- I don't know. Yet another reason I despair daily.

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    1. Clearly the county authorities have chosen to ignore David Attenborough's exhortation: "Don't waste anything". I can appreciate your sense of despair.

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    2. At least I don't waste kitchen scraps. They either go into the garden or to the chickens.

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    3. The Moons of Lloyd FL certainly do not sound like wasteful people.

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  18. We have two bins, one black for household waste and one green for organics which includes all kitchen and yard waste. They can even compost a chicken carcass apparently. We also separate out our recyclables into returnable for money, glass and everything else. I take the glass stuff to our eco centre and we usually give away the stuff that's worth money to kids doing fund raising drives, they go door to door. I try to keep our consumption down but it's hard. There is so much packaging. I've started buying second hand stuff which helps, I hope.

    I hate plastic but also undestand it's usefullness. At the hospital it sickens me, the amount of plastic that goes into our garbages. I have no answers.

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    1. It all sounds vey complicated when it should be so simple. And yes, Nurse Pudding is also appalled by the amount of plastic waste she witnesses in the National Health Service. In some situations even brand new pairs of scissors are thrown away.

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  19. A friend of mine in Germany has nine bins. Another friend in Brighton, whose MP is ironically in the Green Party, only has general waste and paper collections but nothing else. Here in London, where I live, we have the same as you, but it is annoying that they don't recycle all plastic for example, black food trays.

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  20. In Glasgow, Scotchland, we believe in Live and Let Waste.
    Our thoughtful eco-drunks aye leave a portion of their takeaway curries for the Rats to gobble, and yea, the Rats go forth and multiply. Wee Wee Rats squeaking all night.

    And then there are the Seagulls. Ever see a Seagull savaging a Baby Fox? *Nature red in tooth and claw* as Lord Alfred Tennyson observed. It gives the bairns something to think about now the schools are shut.

    Pedestrianised Sauchiehall Street is now a speedzone for Cyclists who never confine themselves to the Cycle Path, I mean why would they do that? They mean to kill us.

    Escaping the Sauchiehall Cyclists who wing it at 50 miles per hour, I hiked up past our twice burnt-down School of Art, hoping to make my way home along quiet Buccleuch Street, on Garnethill's breezy braes.
    I was attacked by a Seagull which chased me as I ran back down into Sauchiehall Street again, trying to protect my head as it dive-bombed me again and again. It was only protecting its young, no doubt, and it's their Glasgow too.

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    1. Now why on earth do you use fish oil in your hair squire? You have only got yourself to blame for the seagull attack. Try Brylcreem instead! Is there a photograph of the seagull attack? I guess it was on the front page of ye olde "Glasgae Harold": "Gullible Geezer Grapples with Greedy Gull".

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    2. My hair oil carries a Garrick Club aroma of Bay Rum and Havana Lime, which seems to excite grey squirrels, those tree rats with bushy tails and strong libidos. Ain't none of them expiring with Covid-19, nature lovers!

      After escaping the Psycho Gull I steadied my nerves at home with twa shots of my favourite malt whisky. It's called *Bonny Kirsty's Nae Awa* and has a delicate nose, which some liken to freshly cut Cox's Pippins, sandalwood, the inside of an old Brock's Fireworks box, and an Estonian girl who's slightly wet her knickers after laughing at one of your jokes.

      Forgive the vulgarisms, Sir Yorky. I learned my trade at the School of James Joyce. Molly Bloom is a friend of mine.

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    3. Surprisingly, I am not affronted by your vulgarity Lord Haggerty. It is indeed customary in The House of Lords.

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    4. Lord Heygerty: B'Jingo, I like the sound if it. If Oliver St. John Gogarty (aka Buck Mulligan of *Ulysses*) could become an Irish Free State Senator, Hamel(d) by another name can be ennobled.

      The generous Lords' attendance allowance will keep me in boxes of cigars from the Dominican Republic and crates of Tokay dessert wine. The thought of wearing an ermine stole makes me shudder; I am an Old Toper who wears tweed jackets, cords and brogues, and I scorn the poncey stuff like velvet and male jewellery. But I'm prepared to make the sacrifice, even if it means mixing with the likes of Derry Irvine and Norman Tebbit, unless they are brown bread, I sincerely hope so.

      But let's get back to the subject of Waste, Sir Yorky. I am sure we are all agog to see the interior of your Charcoal Grey Bin.

      I shall take thee and Tasker to an African restaurant in Glasgow Cross, where they serve Pig's Head, it bubbles away piggishly in a pot the size of a cement mixer ... I wouldn't like to be the binman who has to carry away the slops.

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    5. My oh my. What sophisticated eateries you have in Scotland's Tunbridge Wells! Here in Sheffield we consume less exotic fayre. By the way did you ever read "Angela's Ashes"? There's a Christmas pig's head in there. I think it is what they call tragicomedy.

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    6. Angela's Ashes is what I call Great Bleak. It reminds of of Mario Puzo, who said that in his childhood in New York, he never heard an Italian sing. Puzo liked cigars. On Christmas Eve I smoke just one in the year. Ye canna expect me to toast the Queen with a Wills Whiff, can ye man?

      A Tokaji from Hungary or Slovakia is an ideal toast. Amy Winehouse sang You Go To My Head. A Tokay won't. I even pour one for my maid Olga. You'll find a bottle in your local Waitrose, an ideal mood-changer after a decent Sherry.

      There was a chap called Edward Plunkett (1878-1957) the 18th Baron of Dunsany, who wrote The King of Elfland's Daughter, which I'm sure you read to your bairns as the curlews convoked twilight. Lord Dunsany wrote a story, Dean Stanley, which was filmed in 2008. It's all about Tokay wine and dogs and reincarnation: as a five-point Calvinist I only believe in wine and dogs.

      Sam Neill played the eponymous Dean in clerical collar and gaiters, conveying his love for the Tokay in an almost preternatural way. Peter O'Toole, Bryan Brown, and Jeremy Northam shared his pleasure.

      Northam played the bachelor barrister in The Winslow Boy, a role we associate with Robert Donat. I'm reading an old biography of Donat (born in Manchester) by J.C. Trewin; he lived in an apartment near Baker Street, London, and could recite Shakespeare to a band playing.

      In his last film, The Sixth Inn of Happiness, Donat played a Chinese mandarin, telling Ingrid Bergman, *We will not meet again.* My mother liked him in Goodbye Mr. Chips, and in his other famous role, Hitchcock's greatest film. *Where are the Thirty-Nine Steps?* she would recite.



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    7. Correction: The Inn of Sixth Happiness.

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    8. I can't find Amy Winehouse singing You Go To My Head on YouTube. The Sinatra (remastered) recording is a masterclass in phrasing. I'm not too fond of Sarah Vaughan's recording, she's trying too hard. Her relaxed mood is perfect for Sophisticated Lady and In A Sentimental Mood, Duke Ellington's masterpieces.

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    9. Sounds a bit of a tall tale, Hamel. You know, the ones anglers (of fish) tell. Or maybe your mother was an extra in Hitchcock's "Birds". Trauma in utero.

      Despite living so close to the coast I'd fall into the yacht harbour had I had the misfortune of being a sleep walker I have never encountered seagulls like yours. Maybe there are more militant in Glasgow. Here they just squawk, raid overspilling bins; looking majestic whilst prancing about their business.

      To my credit, I have been shat on by a seagull twice in the last ten years or so. Top of the crown of my head/hair. Such precision. Feels cooling. Like a drop of rain. Only white. Supposed to bring luck. It did. Both times.

      I'd say, in absence of humans able to sort their shite, let rats and seagulls battle it out between them.

      U

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    10. In her youth my mother went to the pictures twice a week and sometimes three times. Not bad for a factory girl who left school at 14. As a child her father took her to the Glasgow Empire, to see Estelle and Fred Astaire. At that time Estelle was the bigger act. My mother loved Chaplin, saw the first Talkie, The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson, and was devoted to musicals, and to Gracie Fields and Mario Lanza. In the last weeks of her life, age 97, she was talking to her granddaughter in France, thanks to my sister's laptop.

      I swear on her eternal soul that that seagull attacked me, and I bear it no grudge. I felt its wings brush my head three or four times, and it would circle back and strike again. I tried pulling my raincoat over my head as I ran back down to Sauchiehall Street.

      The speeding cyclists I do not forgive, or the corrupt management team who run my city in such a slovenly fashion. In England at least one person has been killed by a pavement cyclist. The police do nothing. The police are useless.

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    11. "And now on BBC 2, it's The John and Ursula Show!" (cue applause)
      JOHN Och aye the noo! Oan toneet's show ken we'll be interviewing a Glasgae seagull called Jimmy Reid, ken.
      URSULA I have told you before Haggerty, DO NOT CALL ME KEN!

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    12. Ursula cannae dae a thing wrang in ma book, no that she really exists, if only she did, ay? The nice photo's a fake for a start. She's like wanny thae people ye meet in a novel, and ye think, *If only Ah had a pal like that.* Platonic like, but Socratic tae, think o' aa the great dialogue ye could have wi Mother Earth Ursula.*

      Hameldaeme's just A Front tae, Ah think ye's are beginning tae suss me. Ah'm a 19 year old lassie in Airdrie on a Creative Writing Seminar, and Ah look efter ma Pappa, thats ma grandfaither, Auld John, he's losing it big time, False Memory Syndrome, aa the shite he talks, they say a badly tossed caber hit him on the heid, at the Highland Games years ago.

      Oh, and I can talk Posh Girl as well. Gosh, I'm doing my thesis on Virginia Woolf's *Orlando* with references to Sontag, Citoux, Roland Barthes, the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, Madonna, and the return of the Goddess. I'm a five-point Wiccan, it's the real paradigm shift, Yorky. Paganism. Come on Ursula, fess up. You're John Going Gently having a conversation with himself. Doesn't mean you're a Bad Person.

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  21. We only have one bin, collected weekly, for general household waste. We choose to separate out our paper, cardboard, tins, plastic etc and take it to the local recycling collection points. However, a neighbour further along the lane has three bins which are always so full they cannot close the lids. They appear to be full of cans, cardboard packets and plastic bottles as well as compostable green waste. No compulsory recycling here.

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    Replies
    1. That's outrageous! Complain to The House of Keys!

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  22. It's interesting to see the way it works there. We have household rubbish (collected every two weeks), recycling (including paper, plastic, metal and glass, all in one bin) collected weekly, and food waste in a separate small caddy collected weekly. Oh, and garden waste, which we pay extra for, collected weekly.

    I agree the process should be more transparent. I may be cynical, but I've always suspected that despite all our rinsing and separating and whatnot, a lot of it winds up in a landfill.

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    Replies
    1. You may be cynical but quite probably accurate too Steve!

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  23. I had my first outbreaks and was tested back in 2015 for both HSV-1 and HSV-2.  Both my husband and I tested positive for HSV-1 but negative for HSV-2.  Last year I found out my husband was cheating, so I decided to do a retest on all STDS including HSV-1 and HSV-2.  Only difference is that this time I went to a different clinic.  Anyway, I tested positive for HSV-1 which I knew I had but surprisingly HSV-2 as well.  I was so upset and got divorced with my husband.  4 months ago a friend recommended me to an African herbalist , Dr. Kham , I explained my problems to him and he encouraged me that I will be cured.  Then I ordered for his herbal protocol and used it according to his directions. I'm so relieved to say that I've not had even one outbreak and was tested negative by my doctor. I'm feeling great from within.  I truly endorse this product, it really works.  You can contact him on email: dr.khamcaregiver@gmail.com or WhatsApp: +2348159922297, You can Also Visit his website to know more about him at > https://drkhamherbalhealingcenter.wordpress.com/ or https://drkhamcaregiver.wixsite.com/drkhamcaregiverherba

    ReplyDelete
  24. Good day viewers.. please just read this, some times we just need to give a try of herbal Medicine to see for our self. I am very happy today that i do not listen to what people say if not i would have been a dead man by now. I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2014, i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution out so that my body can be okay. One day I was in the river side thinking where I can go to get solution. so at that moment i was doing some research about remedy for herpes on my cell phone, so i came across an articles about a lady testifying on how she get cured by the help of a doctor called USELU,so i have to write down the email contact of the doctor that she recommended which is (dr.uselucaregiver@gmail.com) on a very good day i decide to write to this doctor and explain how this virus is killing me slowing, after introducing myself to this doctor after some time i got a reply back from him, and he told me the important of his herbal medicine also how he has cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS and all kinds of virus, He told me all the things I need to do and also give me instructions to take, which I followed properly. Before I knew what gradually my body was getting recovery and i was feeling so different than ever after two weeks the HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS that was in my body got vanished. so if you are also heart broken and also need a help, you can also contact him Via Email (dr.uselucaregiver@gmail.com) and give a try i promise if you can stay in touch with Him through his contact email address stated here correctly you wont miss out okay here is the Email once again ( (dr.uselucaregiver@gmail.com) or whatsapp him, +2347052898482 and you will give a testimony too wish you Good luck guys

    ReplyDelete

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