Friday 29 December 2017

up to me oxters in shite

Christmastime generates a LOT of rubbish. The cases of champagne and cut-glass Waterford glass decanters have to be packed securely and unbreakably for transport; those shop-bought mince-pies have to be triple-wrapped.  All the packaging has to be disposed of somewhere.  We live really rural - you can't be further from a bus-stop and still be in Leinster. When we settled here 20+ years ago there was no bin collection in our townland.  In any case, we live 300m from the County road up a bumpy track with a1:10 slope: it would have been a schlep to have dumped all our trash into a wheelie-bin and lummock it down full and up (thankfully) empty. Accordingly, we were obsessively careful in sorting the rubbish into landfill, chicken-carcases, burning-bin and recycling. I single out chick carcases as more or less the only item of food waste because the kids were trained to polish their plates and we had (live) chooks to process all the off-cuts and peelings into fresh eggs,  Dau.II was still in diapers when we started rural life, so we had to be careful about them . . . and visit the grand-parents and their wheelie-bin regularly. About once every 15 months, our clean, sorted trash would be loaded into the back of the biggest car we could borrow and we'd tootle off to the landfill.  The price crept up and up but last time I went it cost €26.50 = half-a-dollar/week, which is about 10% of what folks in the system will be charged. But that's because we are super-careful and assiduous in dealing with our own ordures.

Between Xmas and NewYear we took our 3 generations down to visit Pat the Salt. Because Gdau.II is still a bit "Paris" [in continent, harharhar] we had accumulated a small bagful of teeny-tiny diapers for disposal: our rights-of-access to Pat's bin have been grandfathered in harharhar. The Beloved, being a little flustered, emptied the bag into the compost bin. Arrgh, the compost centre doesn't want to process a shovelful of baby-poo, so I [was] volunteered to fetch them out. The handiest thing would have been to empty it all out on the driveway, pick out the daiperlettes and shovel the rest back into the brown bin. L]. But inspection showed the pale blue parcels lying on a mish-mash of blue bread, banana-skins, and other furry stuff. Soooo, I did the leeeeean-in and hoiked the rogue rubbish out, one-by-one.

Later on I was driving along the Waterford Coast [a privilege and an enduring pleasure] and tuned the wireless to Newstalk FM.  Jonathan "Futureproof" McCrea was interviewing a recycling god and we-the-listeners were being hectored by proxy about the ever-changing rules and conventions about recycling. McCrea had been on extended visit to his dad with his children and had applied his own recycling habits on the old chap's system. That meant that a lot more went into composting than usual but the collection timetable remained the same. Accordingly, rather than cleaning out some twigs and grass-clippings, the old fellow had to deal with a bubbling soup of food-waste that was too thick to gloop out when the the bin had been briefly inverted over the truck. Dad asserted that it was the worst task he'd ever accomplished. This is problem is not unique old chaps like me and Mr. McCrea Snr. Compost-bins are the same height as regular bins because that's the way the trucks are built, which doesn't make them in any other way fit for purpose. Normal people generate so little waste that fits the stringent corset of fit-for-industrial-scale-compost that it takes a long time to fill the bin . . . by which time the bin is a fizzing, buzzing health hazard. Chicken-carcases, for example are not compostable.  Why not, suggested McCrea Jnr, make the goddam compost bin half as high?? That way it could be lifted more frequently and cleaned more easily.  Damn right.  There are other solutions [R above]

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