Composting the Council Way

Today we raked up the leaves from the walnut tree and filled our compost bin.

So, er, what the hell are we supposed to do with half a tonne of compost? Usually we only get through 15 litres a year. Presumably we put the excess compost out for the bin men to collect?

And, er, where on earth do we put all our kitchen waste now, given that the composter is full? Back in the dusbins we've been told not to use, with Tewkesbury council threatening everyone with reducing bin collections to once a fortnight?

Hmm. I think my previous solution of just piling all the garden waste up at the bottom of the garden, and letting the brambles grow wild on it, then eating the blackberries, was a much better solution. And the cat or the rabbit get first refusal on any kitchen waste.

Recycling? Bah humbug. What's wrong with just reusing all our old containers and filling them with jam, chutney or pickles? Surely that's more environmentally friendly than sending round a diesel truck to deliver the empties to some fuel-hungry chemical processing machine dozens of miles away?

If the council want to reduce waste, the could start by insisting that every bloody new supermarket that they grant planning permission for (y'know, the one that's exactly the same brand with exactly the same products as the one two miles further down the road), has to reduce their packaging by 25%. Quite why I need my meat contained in a plastic box which is then sealed with cellophane which is then placed in little plastic bag by the checkout assistant which then goes in to a carrier bag, is beyond me. And electronics need EITHER foam OR a box OR shrinkwrap, not all three.

Remember shopping in the 1970s? Okay, let me tell you. Meat in one little plastic container - or better still, a newspaper. At EVERY checkout, a pile of old cardboard boxes. Electronics delivered by a nice little man who installed it for you and took the packaging away. No need for shopping bags at all.

But of course, no, old newspapers and old cardboard boxes not only wouldn't be "hygenic", but they wouldn't have the supermarket logos, would they? And they'd make the checkouts look so... untidy. How simply awful. And we have to keep the electronics packaging lying around our own homes, otherwise the shop won't honour the warranty.

(Why the heck does everything have to be hygenic, anyway? Are we planning to evolve-out antibodies? And why would I want to use an antibacterial washing up liquid, what exactly does that do to my stomach, or indeed the local sewage works?)

If people just re-used their jars, bottles, cardboard and newspapers, though, how on earth would the council justify spending millions on recycling facilities?

Public Domain - Andrew Oakley - 2005-12-04

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