Not An Eavesdropper?

Now, you have to trust me; to take my word for it …

But I am no kind of eavesdropper, right?

But, standing, a little awkwardly, by the mantelpiece at this guy’s party when I heard this woman …

“They’re going to start charging us for our green bin collections …”

Now, being interested in what I’m going to loosely call “sustainability” (though it has been monickered “eco”, “green revolution”, “weird”, “The Good Life” and simply good common sense while I have been aware of it), something made me tune in. I just had to listen in. Green bins, the local authority’s collection of garden waste being charged for? Our own local council collect ours, usually full of semi-pernicious weeds and bits we cannot burn (Fridays is the only legitimate burning day on our site), every two weeks. Then, I believe sell it on to a local entrepreneur who has acres of land on which it is efficiently composted. Then sold on – for a small fortune – to gullible gardeners. OK, forgive me for that bit of green-snobbery.

Image result for garden waste collection

She goes on – and I’m definitely listening in now (just so you know):

“I told my husband; cheaper than loading up your car with smelly stuff and taking it to the tip: there’s the petrol, the journey, the time it takes. Well, stands to reason. I mean we put all sorts in it, stuff you wouldn’t want on your compost heap. Grass cuttings for a start. I mean we cut the lawns once a week and you don’t want all that grass making a mess of your compost do you?”

Me? I’ve been known to beg lawn mowings off my family and my neighbours. Because in my book, they are very genuine activators: bring some heat to the heap and get things off to a roaring start, decomposition wise.

And I’m thinking the recycling of such waste can only be a good thing. Most people are too lazy, innocently ignorant or too busy (though its always possible to be too busy isn’t it?) to do it – and being aware of composting is not generally common these days. And most people do not have allotments or the allotment mentality of course. I’ll use something again if I can – in any way I can. But the trick is to get people to pay for what they were getting used to – and getting for free.

Once people start paying the trick is complete. After that it is not so hard to get them to pay more. But to transition from a free service to a charged for one: there’s the rub.

Mind you, once upon a time the trick was to get people to actually separate out their waste: some to be recycled, some to be garden waste – and the rest as “household” garbage.

She hasn’t stopped yet though:

“ Yeah, lovely people up at our allotment …”

(Somebody had suggested, as light relief, that having an allotment must be like the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Revenant).

Image result for the revenant

“There’s one plot holder just got this wonderful shed. Front porch section, painted properly: sage green, skylight, leaded window, little pot-bellied stove, chimney. All the trimmings. Little table, couple of armchairs, a rocking chair for the outside bit; little stove to boil …”

Image result for allotment sheds

“Got it free. Yes truly amazing. Seems she knew this woman who’d just finished with her husband. He was doing that man-thing, had found a younger pneumatic dolly-bird woman. Going through the divorce thingummyjig. She decided to get rid of everything that was his: clothes, CDs, camera, mountain bike . The shed was his little den. In the garden.”

“So the shed: free to collector. All arranged very quickly; even had some slabs thrown in. It looks great. She has put a biscuit tin in; with biscuits in, well, of course, you would, why not?”

“but it seems somebody’s taken to spending the night in there. Snacking on the digestives, filling up the ash tray, helping themselves to tea.”

Now I’m no detective, but I’m wondering whether it’s that woman’s husband.

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