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Bonkers Blog April 2016

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5 April (Part 1) - It’s nuts in La La Land

How’s the brown bin service working out for you? I’ve been finding mine hard to fill through the winter. I have imported quite a lot of waste from a friend in Bromley and someone unknown has half filled it a couple of times while the bin was parked near the road. I’ve moved it now, the extra garden waste is not a problem but the tin cans etc. are.

I got my bin mainly to experience the service first hand and report it accurately. I don’t think it is particularly cheap even though it is only half the price of Bromley’s service. The alternative is an incinerator bin, the waste tips are as far away as one can get from Abbey Wood without disappearing into the next borough.

An occasional correspondent from the centre of Bexleyheath also doubted that the bin tax represented value for money and didn’t sign up for the garden waste service. He wrote a week ago of his binless existence.

In years gone by following an occasional grand garden tidy up, a bonfire late at night when no neighbour would have washing out would reduce everything to a bucketful of ash. Bexley council would then take it away free of charge. This was fine even if I did sometimes have to distribute it over three or four bin collections.

Bexley Council’s £33 bin tax for the removal of such material is not worth it as far as I am concerned for what is only a twice yearly event, but the material still needs to be disposed of though and so it is not hard to envisage a return to the old practice of bonfires or, for some, the decoration of convenient pieces of waste ground. If Councillors really think that applying a bin tax to what was previously a free service would not result in such unneighbourly practices then they truly live in La La Land.

Your side of the borough is poorly served with waste facilities and I doubt many from your area will travel to Thames Road or Sidcup but for me a trip to the dump can sometimes be combined with a shopping trip to Sainbury’s, Crayford. From there I had an interesting diversion to the Thames Road Waste Disposal Depot today.

I’ve been there many many times, usually to drop off old furniture or defunct electrical appliances, occasionally even rubble in plastic sacks, and never had any problems. There is a vehicle height bar at 5ft. 9inches and my vehicle is a tiny bit taller but still no problem since it is obviously not a commercial van. The staff would kindly swing the height bar out of the way for me.

Over Easter I gave the garden a Spring tidy up and accumulated some twiggy branches etc. which were reluctant to go into a plastic sack, so I took them to Thames Road in my small camping trailer. I’ve done that before with never a problem.

FlytippingNot this time though. Dear oh dear no. New rules are being strictly applied and trailers of whatever size are treated as commercial vehicles and must be weighed in and out. At least non-commercial are not being charged yet but residents are restricted to 500 kg. in any one year. What a rigmarole. Name and address and documentary proof of it is required.

Then if you can actually find ID in the back pocket of your old gardening trousers you must don a hard hat and high visibility jacket in order to go the few yards to where those who have carted the rubbish there in the boots of their cars are chucking stuff over a low wall without restriction.

It’s another incentive to burn and fly tip.

On the way out the vehicle and trailer are weighed again to determine the weight of waste deposited and the hard hat and hi-vis vest must be duly returned. All this to drop off 20 kg. of twigs. I’ll opt for a late night bonfire in future and maybe enjoy some roasted nuts at the same time!


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