Picture this. It’s Wednesday. The time is 16:55. All along the street people are sat, poised at their keyboards. Fingers twitching, waiting for the clock to reach 17:00. As the big hand on the clock reach the top, it starts!
“Disgraceful!”…”It’s happening all the time!”…”What are we paying for?”…”Typical mismanagement!”
So, what has happened? Has there been another stabbing? Has there been another joy-rider ploughing into a residents wall? Has there been another gas explosion? No. None of these. So what terrible event has happened this time.
The recycling bin has not been emptied!
It annoys me that these “keyboard warriors” can’t wait to have their say. Now, have they checked with the Council to find the reason? Did they ring them or check the website. No! In order to vent their anger, they turn to the local group page on Facebook. Had they looked on the website, they would have seen that if the bin doesn’t get emptied on the right day, leave it out to be emptied the next day. It’s standard practice.
What people don’t understand, and mostly refuse to understand is that the refuse vehicle has a weight limit. The equipment at the rear of the vehicle is known here as the “bin lift”. This equipment weighs the contents of the bin as it is emptied. Once the weight limit for the vehicle is reached, then the “bin lift” stops operating. The crew then have no alternative, but to return to the refuse site to empty the vehicle. This can often take two hours to turn around.
Some of the comments were absolutely ridiculous. One even stated that “...they should prioritise us, because we pay more council tax…”. One even moaned that”…we shouldn’t be using Euro limits now…” Again, they haven’t taken the trouble to find out the details before they start. The weight limits are set by the UK government and are actually lower than the European limits.
To be honest, we don’t get much personal mail the the postal system. It tends to be bank statements, information from various Governmental organisations and stuff like that. The occasional holiday postcard might find it’s way in there, but not so often these days.
But what we do seem to get a lot of, is mail that is addressed to either one or both of us offering some kind of financial service. These usually get dumped along with the rest of the junk flyers. What we have seen a rise in, is post that includes an application form, where all our personal details are all ready completed. One such form came on Monday that had 4 pages (pages, 8 sides in total) that had my name and address in 6 places. All this information has to be, according to the ‘experts’ shredded to prevent dubious sorts getting hold of my details.
Now a big issue with shredding, is that the Local Authority is unable to recycle shredded paper as they claim “We do not collect shredded paper in the green recycling bins. This is because we are unable to process it due to the small fibers which can interfere with the machinery creating costly maintenance issues”. My email to them suggesting they look to upgrade their machinery (and their spellchecking software) seems to have fallen on deaf ears as I am yet to receive a reply. Their advice is to “only shredding the parts of documents that contain your personal details e.g. name, address etc” which makes the task significantly longer.
Then this morning, I received a item of post from an organisation (I’m not going to mention their name, as I’m awaiting a reply from them) that I had never heard of, that had my name and address on both pieces of paper. I was quite annoyed about this, as one of the sheets was asking for a donation. The donation range started at a single £5.00 increasing up £1000.00 and what really tipped the balance was that the £25.00 check box had already been ticked. The other page was one of those ‘sob stories’ that are supposed to trigger an emotional response. They don’t work with me I’m afraid.
I have emailed a complaint about this and asked them to remove my details from their database, and name the source of the information. I doubt that either will happen. I have also redacted my details from the 2 pages and have posted it all back to them in their enclosed pre-paid envelope.
There is an issue here. I/we get quite a lot of documents sent by the post that has personal information contained within the document. On the one hand, we are told by the financial sector, that we must destroy (I.e. shred) old documents that has this information yet on the other hand the Local Authority refuse department tell us that they “cannot accept shredded paper in the recycling bins, as it jams the (?) machinery”. Their advice is to either put the general waste bin or “it is good to put on your compost heap!” Now, I do not know how many people have a compost heap, especially those who live in tower blocks, but the amount we shred is far too much to compost. We have a ‘Hot Compost’ bin that we do put some of the shredding in, but that can only take about 5% of it’s volume in paper.
I know, I can get things like bank statements and the such as online documents, but there are some things, that you need as a physical copy for a length of time. Things such as mortgage agreements, hospital/doctors correspondence, old banking documents from before they were online etc. When my eldest sold his house, there were over 150 pages, from the bank that had some form of personal information on. Most of the sheets had this information in more than one place, making if difficult to just shred the important bits. Also, none of this includes the number of envelopes and packages that have names, addresses and often order numbers on.
I did make a suggestion to the refuse department that maybe, upon request, they could supply some form of bag that should be used for shredded paper. They would then be able to prevent this paper from ‘jamming’ their machine. I’m not holding out for a favourable response.
So what the Local Authority is saying is that if you do as the bank tells you, it will go into landfill. In my opinion, that is not good enough!
Well, a couple of rants really. Firstly, this UK Government seems to be obsessed with tax. It’s recently announced that it ‘may’ be looking at a tax on take-away coffee cups and other non-recyclable plastics. Now at first glance, this might seem a good thing. Force manufacturers to abandon non-recyclable plastics in favour of the recyclable types. But wait, this will cost them money to change. It always does. Any change costs. And who do you think will pay this cost? Well it will end up being you and me. The costs will be passed on to the consumer so that the shareholders and the company bosses don’t lose out. It is the same with ‘junk’ food. How do we deal with an increasingly obese nation? The Governments idea is to increase the tax on fast food. That will stop people eating the stuff. Will it? Do they think that by putting an extra 50p on a burger and fries meal will stop people from buying it? To me, a more sensible idea would be to subsidise real fresh food and make that best alternative. The same with non-recyclable plastics. Subsidise the fully recyclable stuff to make that the best option. Once the mindset is changed, then increase the taxes to help with costs.
I said a ‘couple of rants’ and here’s the second one. I’m currently a member of a forum. It is not important to say which forum but just to say, I’m a fairly active member. People post their questions and queries and members of the forum will attempt to answer them, if they can. I’ve done both on occasions and whilst I’m not after praise, a simple thanks would suffice. It winds me up a little when you go the trouble of attempting to answer someone, and they don’t have the decency to answer or even acknowledge the respondent. Make me think twice about answering sometimes.
I’m not a fanatical recycler, but if it can be recycled, then I like to try. However, I’m in a bit of a quandary! My local authority actively encourages residents to recycle, but cannot handle shredded paper and they advise to put this in the non-recyclable waste bin. As I understand it, shredded paper clogs up the sorting machines. However, financial and security institutions advise that all documents that have personal information should be shredded. So here is my dilemma. Do I follow security advice and shred or follow the local authority advice and put it, un-shredded in the recycle and hope that nobody reads it? I have decided to follow the security advice!
It’s been a long week. K***s mother went into hospital for a hip replacement last week. It seems to have been successful, but it is going to be a long process to get her back to anything like what she was this time last year. She is quite confused and has been in a lot of distress over the past couple of months. Anyway, she is out now, at home and gradually improving. K*** and her sister are doing their best to help their father cope with his wife’s condition, but it is difficult for various reasons. So I’ve not seen much of her over the past seven days.
It is probably a blessing that R*** has been on respite since Monday, although he has had an infected finger which caused his respite team a few problems. We think that is sorted now, fingers crossed.
S****, my eldest and A**** his partner are having a bit of a bad time. Whilst he was away from his computer at work, somebody (he knows who) posted, what some could call an offensive message on his Facebook time line as a joke. I believe this called ‘Fraping’. All in good fun and taken as such by nearly everyone who knows him. The exception being A****’s mother. She thinks that S**** posted the message and does not believe anything else. This has caused a massive argument and neither of them will have anything to do with the mother. Hopefully it will blow over, but the mother is one of those people that is never wrong. Of course this has caused a lot of stress for both A**** and S**** and it has also upset K*** at this difficult time.
Me? Well I’ve just plodded on as best I can!