Today is bin day in our small village in County Durham U.K. . The row of green bins pushed neatly to the end of each drive, waiting with its secret life story of each particular household that it is displayed outside.
The green bin contains what we call ‘rubbish rubbish’, stuff that sadly is heading for landfill or an incinerator. The stuff that is deemed no further use for humanity.
It’s always seemed strange to us two, that we have a green wheelie bin for landfill and a black bin for recycling. something that we have to take as a quark of living here. Being the newbies in our neighbourhood with not yet a year of living here and with most of that time spent under a strange mix of social distancing and lockdown, it’s difficult to find out. Maybe one day we will ask our neighbours.
One of my dear friends spoke to me by video call at the start of lockdown, expressing her concerns for her refuse driver husband in Yorkshire. It was the way that as each wheelie bin was hauled up and into the lorry, with dust and unwrapped litter flying into the atmosphere surrounding the workers behind. With COVID-19 and the not knowing at that point how it was caught this concern her.
It was at this point we two decided that throwing all our rubbish rubbish directly into our wheelie bin was to change. We recommissioned an old dustbin that the previous occupants had left. We painted it to reduce the rust, placed a black bin bag in it and a large bit of elastic around the rim to hold the sack from slipping. We placed the painted lid on top and it sits next to the back door, the main entrance that we use to our house and my kitchen.
All rubbish rubbish goes to this bin, when the bag is full, it is sealed and placed into the green (landfill) wheelie bin.
Our rubbish rubbish is taken away every other week, with recycling taken the other week.
Last night we lifted the lid of our green wheelie bin to find it empty. We then lifted the lid of the old painted dust bin, it was almost empty. We two looked at each other, it was a real shock. Just four weeks of veg boxes, milk delivery, and more use of the ancient bidet (a later blog). Was it just these small changes what had created so little waste!!
As our bin man driver turned his lorry round close to our drive this morning. He briefly stopped and caught my eye I smiled and waved, he smiled and waved in return. Maybe he wondered why we hadn’t bothered to put our bin out. Maybe he was just being polite. But this just shows we can all make small changes to our lives which if we all did what a huge difference we can make, we can change the world and save our planet.