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Recycling issues

Rubbish left behind
Communal bins

Rubbish left uncollected and the overflowing communal bins. Sometimes the overflow is not collected for many months while the council argues with its contractor over whether it is ‘contaminated’ or not. Usually it is.
Whatever your views on recycling, Bexley is a much more unsightly place than it used to be.

I’ve always thought the refuse services in Bexley were pretty good, but not perfect! I was once chased indoors by a paper collector demanding a tip after I put out cardboard following delivery of a new bed, and when the compost (brown bin) service first started it was the collectors’ habit to drag all the bins in my road to one central place before their vehicle came along. Its movements were reduced to a minimum and the operation was quicker especially as they made no effort to return the bins to the houses. Often the road junction they preferred to use was completely blocked with bins. Fortunately they are very quiet roads for most of the day.

A time saving trick employed by the green bin men was for each of them to drag their own large collecting bin across a neighbour’s garden and toss it over a six foot garden fence. Then climb over it themselves because that route was a quicker one to their next street than the one their lorry had to take. Eventually the fence fell down and both that habit and the leaving of bins all together in the middle of the road came to an end. The brown bins have an electronic tag under the lip that supports the lid. I don’t think Bexley council uses it but if they did I doubt anyone in this road has their original bin given the antics in the middle of the road.

I have mixed views about the refuse services. Things were a lot easier when there was only one bin and the collector would take it from wherever you kept it. I used to put mine out near the pavement to help him but when I occasionally forgot he would come looking for it.

One thing everyone knows about council and government services is that the cost tends to go up rapidly and the quality of the service slowly goes down, but I don’t believe in wasting things unnecessarily so I go along with Bexley’s refuse practices while they make complying with their rules and regulations relatively easy. I only wish I had a first class degree in chemistry so I knew which plastic went where.

I’m not quite sure why but I don’t produce a lot of rubbish, usually my green bin is well under half full on collection day. I’ve never had to put food in the brown bin either but usually manage to fill it with garden cuttings. Having a communal bin not far from home helps too, although collections from it are occasionally haphazard.

One thing you can say for the refuse service though is that if you do have to contact the department responsible they answer in a friendly manner and generally act reasonably promptly.

It annoys me however that their petty rules mean they leave rubbish behind as if that has no consequences. Not far away is a house that never follows any of the council’s complex rules for the simple reason that the occupants are never there for more than a few days before a new group moves in so are unaware of the rules and would have no reason to care about them anyway. Their accumulation of rubbish is left festering and crawling with maggots. The council rules don’t seem to be able to cope and when I’ve not been able to stand the smell and the flies any more I have taken to emptying the contents and redistributing it to other nearby and not so full bins. With their owners permission of course.

After that I have to shower and change every stitch of my clothes to get rid of the smell, and even then not quite succeeding. It makes me more sympathetic towards the bin men but Bexley council have asked me to desist from my efforts to solve this particular problem as it stops them resolving the problem. Not sure how they plan to do that but clearly the council’s rules don’t seem to cope with a weekly turnover of occupants and two full and overflowing bins are out on the pavement pretty well permanently.

I might be even more sympathetic with bin men if they didn’t take such obvious delight in choosing to stop their vehicles opposite parked cars whenever they can and then grin stupidly at oncoming car drivers.

October 2009

Bexley Council is Bonkers - Rules & Regulations

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