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Bonkers Blog December 2014

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15 December (Part 1) - Bexley’s bin buggers

Bin BugUnlike some, mainly Labour, boroughs, Bexley introduced a fairly sensible refuse collection policy after the Tories were elected in 2006. Although the bins were equipped with ‘bugs’ to allow the refuse trucks to monitor the weight of your rubbish (Photo 2), such draconian measures were never introduced, nor were the ridiculous £100 fines, and it all paid off. Bexley has often been rated the most successful recycling borough in the country. Then about a year ago they went and spoiled it.

If your bin lid is up so much as a centimetre they will not take it away. The bin shown (Photo 1) will not now be collected until after Christmas. During the interval the household will generate another binfull of rubbish and the situation might get worse.

In practice that might not happen. It may just possibly be taken to the official dump but that is unlikely because this bin is on the borough’s western boundary and the dump is almost in Dartford. Much more likely is that a passing drunk will tip it over and a fox will redistribute it along the road or the contents will be hidden somewhere in the nearby woods. One way or another Bexley council will collect it. Do the lunatics who run the asylum think that uncollected rubbish magically vapourises?

BinIn my road I am the self-appointed unofficial bin monitor. My own bin only rarely contains more than three small supermarket bags of rubbish and on Thursday evenings I take it along the street redistributing other people’s excess rubbish. If I don’t it will not be collected and either create an eyesore or be put in one of the big communal paper bins that are no so far way, thereby contaminating it.

Most of the houses near me have two occupants but one has five. It doesn’t matter how often you ask them not to, they overfill their green bin and sometimes fill the brown (compost) bin up with rubbish too. They are my best ‘customers’ and I often have to use (with permission) up to three other residents’ bins to sort everything out.

I regard that as preferable to huge heaps of rat infested rubbish in a front garden as used to happen regularly. (The photo below is nothing like the worst, which I have yet to find!) I assume Bexley council does not agree. They prefer to make things difficult even though eventually it will always be them who has to pick up the rubbish.

Last week after squashing all the rubbish into the four available bins - with considerable difficulty in one case - by early next morning my own bin had an extra black sack in it and the lid thrown back because there was no way it could be shut. I can guess where it came from. I had to find a fifth bin.

When Serco came around they removed everyone else’s rubbish from my bin but left my own two ASDA bags at the bottom because they are put under so much pressure by Bexley council that there is no time to reach down to the bottom and take them away. Perhaps I should report it as an unemptied bin and damage their statistics. All my own stuff is still here.

Whilst it is easy to blame Bexley council for this nonsense, ultimately, as with far too many things, the European Union is the real source of it.
Someone at Bexley council with a bloody mind must think that putting residents to all this inconvenience will reduce the amount of recyclable rubbish collected but it has to go somewhere. They may think the surrounding gutters and woods are decent enough repositories but I’d like to think my solution is better. I now await their warning letter or some nosy parker rummaging through my two supermarket bags. They are welcome.


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