Talking Rubbish

Putting out the rubbish here in Australia seems to have rather more of a ritual about it than it ever did in the UK. Back in England, as it undoubtedly is here, your refuse collection service will vary depending upon which local council serves you. So I can only talk about how it used to work for me back in England, and how it does work for me now under Brisbane City Council.

Back in England, all my rubbish went into black plastic sacks. Once your sack is full, start filling another. There was no limit to the number of black plastic sacks I could put out in England. I also had a small black box for my recyclables. Once this was full, it was full.

Here, we use of these bins…….

Rubbish Bins

Rubbish Bins

The bin with the dark lid is for general rubbish, whereas the bin with the yellow lid is for recyclables. Glass, (wine bottles and stubbies) cans, (tinnies and baked beans) and newspaper (reams and reams of magazines and leaflets) are the main ingredients.

General rubbish is picked up weekly and the recyclables fortnightly. Our collection day is Monday. So why am I talking about rubbish today? Because the interesting thing is collection date is Monday. Whatever Monday is. Yesterday was a bank holiday, but still the rubbish was collected. I am told it matters not whether it is Christmas Day, Boxing Day or The Day the Earth Stood Still! Those bin guys are going to show up on Monday.

So why exactly is it a ritual? For general household waste, there’s plenty of room in the bins. But if you have a large, odd shaped item to get rid of, it’s another story. Back in England, I was literally 10 minutes drive from two different recycling stations and 15 minutes drive from a major rubbish tip. Getting rid of rubbish was easy.

Here, the nearest tip is about 35 minutes drive and requires payment unless you have a council voucher. Council vouchers are sent to each homeowner in the post at the beginning of the financial year and usually put in a safe place. But sometimes they are put straight into the bin by your wife!

So, to save yourself a long journey and some money, you will find yourself in your garage on a Sunday evening dismantling say, a 28 inch television set which no longer works, just so you can fit it into the bin. Or slicing an unwanted carpet into manageable strips with a Stanley knife. Or sawing several eight-foot curtain poles into three.

Putting the rubbish out can actually be quite therapeutic if you go about carefully dismantling your object in a methodical way. Putting the rubbish out can also help relieve tension and pent up stress if you go about your task with a hammer. The choice is yours.

Personally, I am looking forward to Christmas Day 2017, which, according to my research will be a Monday. I want to see if these guys really do show up.

Stay tuned to this blog. I will be talking more rubbish.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Patrick December 25, 2013, 3:29 pm | Link

    Merry Christmas Bob!

    I though of this post this morning on my way to the beach, when I saw the rubbish being collected… It’s true in Rockingham!
    Never would’ve happen in Canada…

    All the best, and happy new year

    • BobinOz December 28, 2013, 12:49 am | Link

      Strange isn’t it? Christmas Day and they are still collecting the rubbish.

      Hope you had a great day on the beach 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  • Laura January 3, 2013, 10:33 am | Link

    My bin day is Tuesday. The bins had been emptied on Christmas Day & New Years Day when I got up.

    • BobinOz January 3, 2013, 2:49 pm | Link

      Yes, that always amazes me as well, it doesn’t matter what day it is, if its a bin day, the bins still get emptied.

  • Gary Waite May 16, 2012, 1:19 am | Link

    I haven’t seen a rag and bone man for years. Plenty of travellers looking to pick up scrap metal (not always legally)

    The worst thing about our bin collection is that the general waste collection is only fortnightly. They can get pretty smelly after a fortnight, even in our shortlived summer.

    Don’t know why my first post should be about bins. The kids have just discovered an online kids community called Bin Weevils. I think we need so Aussie sunshine and a swimming pool to get them out more.

    • BobinOz May 17, 2012, 12:27 am | Link

      Yes, I think the Steptoe and Son days were over even before I left. I honestly can’t remember if my local council was once a fortnight for general waste or not.

      Fortunately here, general waste is always every week, otherwise things would be smelling pretty rich around here, that’s for sure!

      A swimming pool is the best cure for Bin Weevils!

  • Gary Waite May 15, 2012, 8:18 pm | Link

    Hey Bob

    You’ve been away too long to comment on the UK!

    We’ve got a green wheeled bin for green garden waste, a blue one for clean cardboard paper etc, a grey one for general waste and 3 plastic box thingys for bottles, recycelable plastic and tinnies!

    The local council won’t let me in the tip without a permit as I have a 1 tonne Ute (sorry pickup) but anybody can get in (no questions) with a big station wagon (sorry estate car) pulling a single axle trailer.

    Remember the old galvanised bins which the bin men used to throw on their backs? And the rag and bone man?

    I’m reminiscing already and I haven’t even left our UK shores yet.

    • BobinOz May 15, 2012, 10:30 pm | Link

      Well, I think each council in the UK does its own thing, doesn’t it? When I was last there, we were on disposable black sacks for the rubbish, but we had progressed to additional small black boxes for our bottles and cans.

      But even then, I was aware other councils were already on to wheelie bins. Sounds like getting rid of rubbish is getting harder in other countries, so perhaps it’s not so bad here after all?

      Are you saying there’s no more rag and bone man though?

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