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…….
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.