Thursday, 27 January 2011

The intermittent kindness of garbage men

Garbage in England is more complicated than you think. You have three bins outside your house: grey, blue and green

Green = compost. Yay! I am excited to compost, finally. It is a lot harder in Canada when you don't have a yard, and there was no city-wide program in Edmonton. So when we bought a kitchen set of slotted spoons, spatulas and wooden spoons that came in this plastic cylinder packaging, I cut it in half to keep on the counter for all our food scraps. I'm so excited to be more green! Even if I have to empty the container everyday because the old food scraps and coffee grounds kind of sick me out. Clearly, I haven't done that yet today.

Blue = recycling. But you can't recycle everything here that you can at home, which is more annoying that you think. For example, no plastic bags can be recycled. Whaaaat?? And no plastic packaging, or polystyrene, and no plastic pots or tubs (like baby food tubs, or tubs that dips come in or whatever).
Grey = everything else. Which is a lot of plastic packaging, and polystyrene, and styrofoam when you have just moved into a new place and bought a bunch of stuff that came packaged in plastic and polystyrene and styrofoam. The other thing about the grey bins is that they call them black bins here . . . clearly, they are grey.

So the you have to wheel your bins out to the curb (which they spell kerb) on collection days. Easy enough, except when you don't know what day is collection day. This morning, as Elizabeth & I were playing, we heard the trucks and I busted outside to see if I could catch them. The garbage dudes were still doing their thing, so I wheeled out my super full blue bin for them to take. Garbage Dude #1 says to me, "Nah, dah-lin', it's only black bins today, love." I quickly apologized, and ran back to my house (with E in my arms, and both of us still in pajamas), and grabbed our grey bin for them. As we were wheeling our grey bin back, this other lady who lives across the courtyard from us ran out of her house, pushing her grey bin in front of her. Garbage Dude #2 kind of yells at her, "D'ya think we have all bloomin' day? We's supposeda be on tha next street ovah by this time! Come on then, hurry up!" Thank goodness we had Garbage Dude #1 on our side of the courtyard...

Also, we haven't got a drill to put in our new child-safety lock things on the cupboards in the kitchen, which is why our garbages are on our counter. And I really wanted to get mini grey, blue and green bins, but they only had grey and white. And then I have my handy-dandy, arts-and-craftsy compost bin. The only good thing about counter-garbages is that you are forced to empty them everyday since they are a constant reminder. Except for today, obviously.

Oh, and P.S., I had to google grey vs. gray. Gray = American spelling.

4 comments:

Gina said...

Good to know the grey/gray distinction, finally. Grey all the way!

Sapna said...

Lol - I love this post!

Brooke said...

Love that you started a blog and the mental picture of you 2 running with garbage in your pj's.

Michelle said...

The City doesn't recycle plastic bags in Vancouver either! We have to take them to Safeway for that...