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Tuesday 9th July 2024

Last week's bin pride turned to shame this week. Bin hubris thy name is Herring. 
I had been so pleased to get new bins AND almost more importantly to have my recycling taken away after one week, rather than two, giving me just a week to fill the new bin. Over the past few months I have been getting rid of old show programmes in the recycling. I took loads to the dump and to the supermarket recycling facility, but have been able to get rid of maybe two boxes a fortnight, sometimes more, in the recycling bins. It hasn't felt like a crime. In fact it's felt like the opposite. I am a big and obsessive advocate of recycling and do it wherever possible. I even collect up the plastic bags that you can recycle at the supermarkets (not just carriers, but properly marked food bags too).
It's taken a long time. I had dozens of boxes of programmes, most of which I paid to bring with me from London, in case I did old shows again. But there's not as much room at the new house and if I do an old show again (unlikely) I can do a new programme (probably a downloadable one like I've done on this tour). But finally this morning I got rid of the last few boxes - or so I thought. I'd put two in the bottom of the new bin (still boxed up), the contents of one box in my new blue paper recycling box and at the last minute I grabbed two boxes from my garage to put in the almost empty bin of a neighbour (I knew the truck was nearby as I'd just overtaken it, so I was not stealing any space).
There was one box remaining so I put a few programmes in the paper box and a few on the top of the recycling bin and proudly told Catie that my programme nightmare was over (I still have a dozen boxes of the RHLSTP programme, but it seems likely that I will be able to use those and maybe raise some more money from Scope).
I felt a bit bad about the neighbour's bin and later checked it had been emptied, which it had. I'd had a weird feeling that it might not be. But then as I passed my own bins I saw the paper recycling box was full - sometimes they don't empty it, though I didn't know why, but worse my main bin was also still full. There was a sticker on the top telling me it hadn't been collected and something scrawled on the sticker that I couldn't read. I realised eventually it said "Trade". They thought that I was disposing of commercial stuff, I suppose. I was in a way (even though I made no money from it and the brochures were for charity), but it seemed a bit much that they hadn't emptied the bin at all, which was mainly full of regular recycling and only had about 50 programmes scattered at the top.
Hey, I understand the reasoning and I had put in more programmes than they realised as there were more in the bottom (and maybe this was months of resentment boiling over) but it would have been good to have got a warning.
So far from having the luxury of a double recycling fortnight, I now had a bin that was almost full, but now needed to fit a further fortnight's worth of recycling in. I had been justly punished for my bin pride.
I was going over to our new house, so I emptied the programmes out of the bin and took them to put in my recycling bin there instead! The system can try to beat me but I will not be beat. I mainly found it funny after all my showing off that this had exploded in my face. But how could North Herts council treat a man as charitable as me so badly. Do they want to recycle stuff or not?
After all I've done for those binmen - leaving them beer at Christmas (though admittedly I forgot to do that last year)
The victory of getting rid of all the programmes is still more or less complete though, so I can allow myself a smile, even if I have to drive more recycling to the new house in a week or two to avoid too much congestion. They didn't bank on me having two bins!
I fear I have given too much away in this blog and maybe that's why they're on to me. But I can't resist taunting them anyway.
I have been punished enough. Come and empty my bin.

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