Jan 13, 2019: Green

One of the perks of living in Kirklees is the lackadaisical approach to bin collections over the Christmas period.

Calderdale, where my mum lives, simply moves their bin collections on a day if they fall on any sort of holiday. So when Christmas came along, all bin days were shifted. So anything on Tuesday would be collected Wednesday and so on. It’s a simple process and it means that the bins aren’t left to reach dizzying levels of ridiculousness over the festive period.

Kirklees, however, adopts an approach which sees them get as close to Christmas as they dare. And then just stop for a bit.

Our black bin collections – so general and food waste – ended on the 17th of December and started again on the 7th. That’s quite a long time to be building up stuff, especially when you think that it being Christmas there are likely to be inedible but structural parts of large birds to be thrown away. And to sit festering for a while.

Our recycling bin was – originally – slated to finish on the 10th of December and recommence on the 14th January. They slipped in a cheeky Christmas Eve collection without telling anyone, which we subsequently missed. Now we are buried under a mound of cardboard, milk cartons and tin cans that are just longing to be recycled. The bin is full. I have compacted it several times, and filled it again. It’s beyond full. And yet we still have more.

It’s due to be emptied tomorrow.

But to spice up the proceedings even further, as everyone puts their bins out today for collection tomorrow, the wind has been blowing a gale and the entire street is littered with the detritus of Christmas gifted fragrance packets and who knows what else blowing round the street in an endless spiral as the wind bounces off the houses. Like a much large version of when you used to see a crisp packet dancing in the corner of a school playground, not really going anywhere.

I daren’t put our bin out just yet. I can’t trust the weather. And knowing that I’ve rammed it to capacity and then some, if it blows over it could go off like a cannon and fire all our hard-collected cardboard everywhere.

Although that would then leave room for the massive pile of it we’ve currently got in the corner of the kitchen that doesn’t fit anywhere.

When Kermit sang “It’s not easy being green” he wasn’t joking. One wrong move and that entire pile is going to come down on us like when you hear about hoarders being buried alive under the collection of fishing magazines from the 1950s…