Years ago, our bins were collected on a weekly basis. Oh, but they were halcyon days. We miss those days.
If memory serves, and it usually does, the bin collection was scaled back to once every two weeks around eight years ago.
In fact, I know it was then because it was just after I left the shop when we were given recycling boxes and food waste bins, and I was carving up the living room carpet.
I didn’t have time to take up the carpet when I was working at the shop, and it was hideous, so it had to go. There was a gorgeous honeyed parquet underneath which I decided would be easier to live with. Indeed it was, until I wound up with four dogs racing around and sliding on it. Tara scratched it up a little, and Doobie slid into the wall more than once, so we have returned to a carpeted life.
Anywho, the bin collection. We coped quite well with a collection once every two weeks. A great number of the people in the village went through the War, so a slightly less frequent emptying of the large grey wheelie bin was far from challenging.
Long queues sat revving outside the local tip and the bins at the shop and the Legion, both on private contract and therefore weekly collection, filled rather faster than business would explain. We coped, because we’re British and it’s what we do.
Not long ago, our recycling box gained a friend: a large green canvas sack. The recycling side of the waste removal sector will now accept cardboard (although not pizza boxes, so I’m still swimming in reminders of Domino’s past), small electrical items (but not large, so I still have a fridge in my garden), batteries (when we have just switched to rechargeables) as well as the usual – vast array of plastics, cans and glass.
The recycling is collected weekly, as is the food waste. Both Aimée and I are quite good at cooking for the people we have, not the people who might show up, so we don’t really have much in terms of waste – still, I suppose it’s nice to have the option to throw out food.
Here’s where it gets a bit thorny. We have gained this green sack to free up more space in the grey wheelie, general waste bin. Why, you may ask, why should we need more space in the grey wheelie bin? Because, dear reader, for the last couple of months, and until such time as there is a coup, the general waste has only been and will only be collected every three weeks.
The problem is not just that the bin fills up long before collection, and that sad sacks left sitting next to the wheelie get carved into by errant foxes and various other night creatures, scattering remnant rubbish across the driveway and into the road. The main problem is that we have no dog bins in the village.
The village is home to around two thousand residents and, much as not everyone has a dog, a lot of people do, indeed some of us have more than one.
It does seem that most of the households with more than one dog have two, rather than four, but still – that’s a lot of dogs. If only ten percent of people have a dog, that’s still two-hundred dogs. And no dog bins. Since we have to pick up the poop when one of the dogs’ sphincters can take it no more, we have to have somewhere to deposit the poop bag.
A squeamish subject which I am bound to handle indelicately (I apologise) but it is only fair to double-bag the dog effluent, so as not to kill off the bin men.
And that’s what we do, Aimée and I. The poop is practically wrapped for Christmas and smothered in at least two layers of plastic. Except, people walk past my house and in the absence of dog bins, and with so many dogs fed genuinely unhealthy, brightly coloured kibble, the poop stinks, the owner can’t be bothered to carry it, and the loosely bagged dog shit winds up chucked, nay splatted, into my unguarded wheelie bin. I know this to be true because we’re headed towards the chilly end of the year, and there are maggots in my bin.
Maggots that, indeed, should not be, when the nights are fair drawn in.
My options, as I see them, are as follows:
1) Put a scary-ass puppet in the bin, like a diseased jack-in-the-box, much in the style of ‘Saw’, to frighten anyone who tries to open my wheelie. This would rely on my disabling the puppet so as not to traumatise the bin men, and that might be a bit much to remember every three weeks: it’s a thought.
2) Take the bin and hide it behind the house. Being situated quite close to the road, if the bin was moved, maybe painted in camo, there would be no option for those who don’t want to carry their dogs’ anal offerings.
3) Put a lock on the bin, the key to which only myself and the bin men have.
4) Move house.
5) Direct my local councillor to this blog, and indicate to her that I’m considering a puppet.