Cleanliness Is Next To Re-cyclingness

By Bernie Bell

I was told…… someone as knows…… that quite a lot of folk in Orkney don’t put out their re-cycling.  It makes the re-cycling round easier for the bin-men, but it’s not a good thing, at all, and I was wondering……why?

The facility is there, a lot of thought and work has gone into providing the people of Orkney with this facility, so …why? 

I wonder if maybe folk just can’t be bothered with it – can’t be bothered to sort all the stuff into different containers, and can’t be bothered to take labels off and wash things out?

I remember years ago when we lived in Suffolk I knew a woman who, when the idea of re-cycling collections was first mooted, was puttering about it as she said she didn’t have the time to sort stuff out or wash things. Then, when it actually came into practice she took to it with a vengeance!  She loved the process of dividing it all up neatly, and as she had a bit of a mania for cleanliness, she took great pride in thoroughly removing the labels and thoroughly rinsing out the jars, cans and bottles.  No one’s re-cycling was cleaner than her re-cycling!

She had a dog, a spaniel, who loved to get mucky and wet, and she didn’t only wash his collar once a week – she dis-infected it once a week!  An old chap I knew said  “The kind of dog she wants, is a picture of a dog.”  And he was right.

But the mania for cleaning did come in handy when it came to re-cycling!

The man-as-knows also told me that the bin-men can tell who the drinkers are – and he gave a knowing look………

Related article: ‘Scotland Burning Almost As Much Of Its Household Waste As It Is Sending To Landfill’

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4 replies »

  1. I never put ours out. I take it myself on the way to the shop. So “quite a lot of folk in Orkney don’t put out their re-cycling.” is not the same as “quite a lot of folk in Orkney don’t re-cycle.” which is what you imply.

  2. I don’t know about this at all. It’s a sweeping statement. We only put ours out when it’s full. Also since the Council stopped taking the caddies it takes an age for us to have enough to make it worth putting in a bin, as well as having to juggle the recycling to ensure we have an empty bin to use. So no, I don’t think that this article is wholly accurate.

  3. I was telling a tale, as I’d been told it, mainly with the intention of reminding folk to re-cycle.
    That’s all I was doing.
    The ‘sweeping statement’ wasn’t mine – how would I know, personally, whether folk re-cycle or not? I was just trying to encourage people to do so.

    Maybe I shouldn’t bother.

  4. I’m not on Facebook – can only look at the page, not interact with it – so I’ll respond here to the comments on TON Facebook – which are interesting and illuminating about people’s experiences with re-cycling in Orkney.

    How would you folk feel about sending the Council what you have said here? Very valid points, which I can do nothing about, but which they can.

    I was honestly, sincerely, genuinely just trying to fly the flag for re-cycling.

    Having read the initial two comments on TON web site, I did wonder why I bother to try to …do anything.
    Having read more responses, it looks like this article might have brought up very genuine difficulties and problems which are for the Council to solve, or at least try to.

    I keep telling myself that I’ll stick to writing about my walks, as people can’t get at me for that – but – well they get at me for them too – recent example – how I spell whiskey – I’m Irish. I spell it that way.

    Enough – I’m getting worked up – not a good thing first thing in the morning, and not a good thing considering that, this morning, I gave myself a talking to for feeling glum about life – individually and generally. Including the actions of OIC, and Councils generally who appear to have forgotten that their function is to do what’s best for the people who voted them in.

    So, back to singing “I got money in my meter and a two bar heater, ain’t nothin’ gonna bring me down.”

    Life’s too short.

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