I, ALONG with others, received the latest Orwellian missive from the environmental bods at the council. I am a reasonable person.
I can deal with the brown bin for general waste, garden bin for garden stuff, white bag for papers and cardboard etc, clear bag for clothes, blue box for plastics etc, striped bag for tiger waste – scratch that: it’s one for the future.
No, it is not that which prompts me to write. It is the note at the bottom (medium print, they haven’t even the shame to make it small print.) “It is an offence to leave out side waste.”
Extra bags to you and me. Really? What offence is that, then?Eating too much and causing more waste than we should?
There are only two of us here and I fill a bag every week (sorry, fortnight. Ah memories...) Risking injury to sleepy people on their way to work? Most people can see a dustbin bag from five yards, even after a night on the tiles. Depriving wildlife of food? We can buy feeders. Giving the refuse collectors more work? It’s their job.
As for the old door I replaced last year, it languishes in my garage, waiting for the day someone will love it enough to take it away as it is not a door it is a fitting, apparently.
And although they don’t say it on the paper, the blue boxes must be out by 7 a.m.
In other words, put it out the night before or set your clock to bin time.
The trouble with my blue box is that it likes to visit relatives down the road and doesn’t come back, so has to be kept on a leash overnight. And don’t miss this. Make sure the lid is on right: well, we can all manage that without being told.
But what if we commit this offence? Will we be taken to jail to sew bin bags for six months? (one side bag); given a pair of rubber gloves and a stint in the recycling centre for more serious offences (two or more bags). The future is terrifying.
What if they dispense with the lorry altogether and we have to do it ourselves?
Imagine the scene on the requisite day. Hordes of blue boxes marching down Padiham Road to the recycling centre. Armies of brown bins wheeling themselves down Brunshaw Road on their due date.
Think of the traffic jams. And they all look alike.
Trying to find their parents again will be like those poor baby penguins rushing round the South Pole looking for their mothers.
Why are we not all camped outside St Peter’s Church in protest. Are we waiting for the more vulnerable among us to take to the streets, shouting I am a name not a number? In conclusion, don’t you, like me, long for the day a candidate will put in his election leaflet that it is all right to put out the odd bag when you are strapped? He or she would get my vote.
CASTLERIGG DRIVE BURNLEY