One of the few things I don’t like about living where we live is that there is no recycling. Back in London, the people who collected for Ealing Council left us with a lidded bin for food waste, a green plastic box for cardboard, glass and newspaper (they were also supposed to take clothing but they usually left that), a pink sack for garden waste and we could have requested a white sack for recyclable plastics. The rest went into black plastic bags in a communal bin shed. I put a lot of effort into getting everything into the right container and old clothes would either get put out for anything that looked like a genuine collection (we had a lot of fake ones round our way) or to Tesco where they had a clothes collection for the Red Cross.
Here everything goes into the communal bin. Food waste, rubbish bins, old clothes, packaging, ash from fires, building rubble, half of next door’s fig tree which has just been trimmed. And, of course, here you get a plastic bag with every purchase whether you want one or not; a full sized plastic bag for three garlic bulbs etc. I do find this disconcerting. There are several men who wander the streets round here – pretty much the equivalent of London Rag and Bone men – some of them will accept our beer cans, others only want the big stuff. But there’s a limit to the amount we can store whilst waiting for the right man in the right mood to take them away.
Plastic 5 gallon water jars are saved and given to the neighbour of a friend who repurposes them for olive oil. We repurpose our yoghurt pots – we’ve taken to buying the flat sort which make particularly good storage boxes for the fridge – but some of them went for plant pots. I even repurpose the ayran bottles (cut them off near the bottom and they make reasonable containers for keeping herbs in the fridge in water). Glass jars are, of course, easy. One of our old tea tins now contains dice. Yes, we play a lot of games and we, therefore, have a lot of dice. Many of them with more than six sides…
Cardboard and newspaper is being stored to be used with the kindling to light the Soba.
There is a collection going on for blue plastic bottle tops, this is a local thing in aid of buying wheelchairs. We have collected a few and will no doubt collect more.
This still leaves a lot of rubbish. I don’t know what to do with all those plastic bags. I mean the ones I can’t repurpose as rubbish bags. I know you can knit and crochet with them but… it’s a lot of work and the end product looks like it’s been made of plastic bags and I don’t think the bags here have very good wearing qualities. And, even if I did that, there is a limit to the amount of shopping bags I need. And, once we have a sufficiency of containers, I don’t know what I will do with the excess yoghurt pots, ayran bottles and glass jars. I suppose I could make pickles in the glass jars. And buy things in greater bulk.
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