Wednesday, 23 December 2009

"Bring Out Your Veg."

A couple of years ago, I fancied building myself a compost bin. Then the council started up with their green initiatives and said they'd sell us compost bins for a tenner. I took a look, decided it looked better than anything I could build at that price, and bought one.

It's a good composter, still there and still in use. Grass clippings go in there, chopped up bush trimmings, and best of all, shredded bank statements and credit card bills. Identity thieves can't even piece together the bits.

There was also kitchen waste. Vegetable peelings and the like. Even cigarette ends, because with rollups, all you're left with is a few leaves and a bit of paper. I had a little bucket to keep it all in before transferring it to the compost.

That bucket is no more. Kitchen waste only goes to compost if I have enough at one time to make it worthwhile going down the garden to the compost bin. So why have I de-greened this part of my routine?

Well, if you had asked me in the winter, I'd have said it was working perfectly well and I was happy with it.

In summer, the kitchen filled with tiny flies and any attempt to approach that bin sent up a cloud of them. The bin initially moved to outside the back door, but then the crows found it and sweeping it all up again became tiresome. The bin ended up in the bigger bin.

So it's no surprise to find that the brainwashed populace, when asked if they like their new, compulsory, Prison-style slopping out buckets, are happy to go along with the authorities while it's too cold for insect and rodent infestations. They are happy with the handcarts manned by mediaeval men, ringing a bell and shouting 'Bring out your veg' as long as that week-old bucket of rotting muck is controlled by the cold.

Next summer, when those same buckets contain a single lump held together by fungus and are host to a million flies, just watch that attitude change.

Of course, it'll be too late then. The fines for non-compliance will have started.


von Spreuth. said...

A bloody big can of fly spray is what you need.

You can not get it here...BANNED by the green turds.

We also have these flys. Fruit flies I think they are???


Leave an apple, or a tomatoe in "the open" over night, and the bloody galley is FULL of them. And it is WINTER!

What happens in the summer, you need a bloody N.B.C suit and mask, just to go into the bloody galley. Otherwise you are nearly choked by them.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Round our way we've had a separate dustbin-sized dustbin for grass, kitchen waste etc for years and it works fine. Of course you get flies in summer, but keeping the lid shut seems to deal with that particular problem.

In fact, once they introduced separate bins/bags for metal, glass, paper, plastic and stuff that rots, the volume of rubbish in the actual bin is down to about a quarter of its usual volume.

Whether this makes economic sense, I do not know*, but on a practical level it works fine.

* Landfill Tax is an abomination of a tax, for example, and skews the decision against sending stuff to landfill, even if this would otherwise make economic sense, but hey.

Young Mr. Brown said...

I could hardly believe my eyes when I looked at the Telegraph story and saw the words "Government plans to have a slop bucket in every kitchen."

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It is just so New Labour.

(I might add that I am an enthusiastic composter, and don't have a problem with flies around our kitchen scraps bin.)

Anonymous said...

We were handed dark green coloured plastic slop buckets here in San Francisco a year ago. The thing started as "an experiment" in ours and two other neighborhoods, then the press said it was "so popular", then it was mandated city-wide. The penalty for non-compliance can be as high as $1,000. As for efficiency, instead of 1 garbage truck run per week, there are now 3 - meaning 3x the gasoline and labour costs and 3x the air pollution from running the fleet. Luckily for unionized workers, it pays them double-time for running the trucks out on holidays, which they do, to increase their wages. The slop buckets came with a free supply of 20 biodegradable plastic bags, since regular plastic bags have been banned since a few years earlier city-wide, and it is required one orders replacement bags only through city-approved vendors, another line of business profit granted just those in favour with government who created all these mandates. Voluntary basis doesn't seem so bad, but on an enforced basis seems personally interfering. The run-up in additional costs due to gasoline, truck maintenance and cost of labour combined with increased air pollution from 3 weekly runs makes it difficult to imagine the cost savings being had. Profit to unionized workers and certified liner bag dealers seems a little payoff to patrons of the one-party system we have. All of these bans and restrictions demanding compliance under force of fines and arrest seem demoralizing on the population for which any minor offence is now considered cause for prosecution. So not sure in the long run, is it good or bad that government has assumed the degree of authoritarian monopolistic hegemony over every little aspect of one's life, contrary to the way government operated in the far distant past, when mankind was more free. I would imagine with more rotting organics sitting alongside house after house, apartment building after apartment building, with the flies and other insect population enjoying its presence, there could be some outbreak of diseases result from it, but nothing that seems to concern the health officials in charge of the somewhat fascist state. In other news, we have new signage bolted strongly to telephone poles and lamposts outside nearly every bit of government owned land showing a sketchy illustration of a fear invoking flaming ember, meant to signify death from second-hand-smoke and tobacco with a large warning in three languages that the penalties now for outdoor smoking are up to $500 per arrest. No intrusion then in all these government mandates. If people don't volunteer, then force us under penalty of extreme fines and punishment. Good way to raise the kids.

RantinRab said...

Good old fruit flies. The sign of a dodgy greengrocer.

Angry Exile said...

Why the unnecessary 3rd collection? Or is 4th or 5th after various other trucks have turned up to collect paper and plastics and Christ knows what else? As much as I criticise Australia and the People's Republic of Victoria for its ridiculous over regulation and nannying at least the local councils haven't gone as mad as our old one in the UK. There's a bin for all recycling and another for ordinary rubbish, and that's it. No tub for newspapers and magazines, no 3rd bin for a different sort of rubbish/recyclables. It's one or the other, they're both emptied every week, and if you want to raise fruit flies as pets you're welcome to stick a bin for food scraps in the kitchen but nobody is going to bother making you. It's not like we're short of space for landfill anyway.

the council gets things right at last said...

Rural East Scotland has a green bin and a grey bin with fortnightly collections. I stick all my weeds in the green bin and my grass cuttings and tattie peels etc onto my compost heap ( sad gardener - love growing veg ). It works fine actually which is puzzling. Council gets something right shocker ! My grey bin was 'borrowed' by some yobs and I got a replacement the next day. Staggering really.

Leg-iron said...

No collection here for garden waste, which is a shame because I generate more grass clippings than my compost bin can handle in summer.

We have standard bin and recycling bin (glass, plastic and cans) alternate weeks.

That's okay for me because half of my waste is bottles, but not so good for others.

Fortunately Aberdeenshire council are not in the habit of fining people for bins that don't fully close, or bottle boxes that are a little on the heavy side.


von Spreuth. said...

I can see the day coming when you will be dragged off to the police cellars o answer questions as to "where you are fly tipping", because you have not fulfilled the "norm" in filling bins for your sort of household".

microdave said...

We pay £30 yr for a Garden Waste bin, but we aren't allowed to put vegetable peelings etc in it. Apparently it might cause "contamination"???

Yet a neighbouring council is going to introduce them, and their residents WILL be allowed to put both types of waste in!!!

Joined up thinking....

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