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Bonkers Blog October 2016

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5 October - Why did the bin man cross the road?

Bexley Councillors’ three month holiday from meetings comes to an end next Monday. They will be rubberstamping the sale of four more parks and open spaces. After that, those who wish to keep abreast of the nefarious civic goings on, will have the dubious pleasure of approximately one night out and one night in for a couple of weeks. It’s not just Councillors who must stir themselves from their current lethargy. BiB must too.

Things are particularly quiet on Bonkers at the moment, not entirely because of a shortage of things to report, but because of a shortage of time while I rush to complete a DIY job before the meeting season restarts. For that reason I shall fall back on the easy cop out today; readers’ messages.

An old favourite is the rubbish rubbish collections. I must declare an interest; I almost never encounter a problem. I thought someone had nicked my green bin a month ago, I went to collect it from the footpath where I had left it and it wasn’t there. I walked the short length of the road and it was nowhere to be seen. I thought I should check the CCTV to see who the thief was.

There was no thief. The bin man had wheeled it back to close to where I usually keep it, which cannot be seen from the road. I didn’t think to look there. Maybe he likes me. As a special favour to Cabinet Member Peter Craske, and in full on Green mode, I have been weighing my non-recyclable waste. It is a very consistent ten ounces a week. That’s under 300 grammes to those of you who weren’t taught both systems at school.

Not all bin men are as caring or perhaps as sensible as mine is, someone who lives in the centre of Bexleyheath witnessed the following bizarre behaviour this week…

Today was green bin emptying day in my road and the bin men employed a new technique not seen before.

Previously an operative would collect one (or often two at a time) wheelie bins from premises, take them to the lorry for emptying and then return them to the premises - i.e. once across the road and back again.

UntidinessToday all green wheelie bins from one side of the road were first moved to the pavement on the other side of the road. To do this an operative must have completed one return road crossing - once across pulling one or perhaps two full bins then return across the road empty handed to collect the next one or two bins.

Later the bin lorry came down the road on the side where all the full bins were waiting and they were duly tipped into the lorry. An operative then had to make a second return road crossing to take the empty bins back to the properties and then back empty handed to the lorry for the next one or two.

Unless the bins had prominent house numbers on them the operatives would not always know where they came from or even which side of the road they came from so the chances of getting back your original bin was quite low.

Hence to empty one (or two) bins an operative had to make TWO return road crossings whereas previously under the previous system only ONE had been necessary.

Whether the new system is something devised by the bin men themselves which they think makes their lives easier or is something imposed on them from on high is not known. For the life of me though I really cannot see how the new system benefits anybody. Very strange.

The correspondent lives on a busy road close to a large school. The new technique sounds unnecessarily dangerous to me.

Another message said that more money making yellow box junctions had appeared in Welling but didn't say exactly where but I would guess from the context that they are somewhere near Tesco’s. I shall have to go and take a look, but not by car. It will have to be via multiple buses. Belvedere to Welling is not the simplest of routes.

There was a slightly puzzling report to the effect that the parking bays at Riverside Gardens in Erith have been sold off to private enterprise, or more specifically that enforcement was now in the hands of a private contractor. I suspect I have misunderstood something, Bexley Council will not be employing private parking companies as commonly found outside supermarkets because it would be illegal. Oh wait!

Maybe it is Morrison’s car park where the arrangements have changed.


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