Thursday, May 20, 2010

A conversation with the Council

The following conversation is paraphrased and not verbatim but does represent the conversation that Mrs Dizzy just had with the local Council about getting a larger recycle bin.

Mrs Dizzy: Hi, is that the Refuse Department?
Council: Yes
Mrs D: Look, you collect my recycling every other week and my ordinary black bin rubbish every other week, right?
Council: Yes
Mrs D: Well the thing is, I fill the recycling wheelie bin up within a week and then have to take the rest to tip because you don't take extra bags. The tip guys just tell me, because it's mixed recycling, to chuck it in the "Cannot be recycled" bin. So I was wondering, can I get a larger wheelie bin for my recycling?
Council: You can but you need to prove you're recycling more than will fit in the bin.
Mrs D: Errrr OK.
Council: If I can take your number, I will get one of our recycling officers to call you and visit your house the day before your bins are collected to confirm you need a bigger bin.
Mrs D: But that means I will be keeping lots of bags loose for a week and they'll get ripped open by foxes.
Council: I'm afraid this is the process for getting a larger bin, we have to inspect you to check that you really need it.
Mrs D: So you mean I have to take a day off work and wait for your inspector to come round and check inside my bin and decide whether it is overflowing enough?
Council: Yes, or they might provide you with advice on how to get more inside the bin.
Mrs D: Can I claim the loss of earnings back from the Council?
Council: I'm afraid not, although they will give you a specific time so you can just pop out of work, go home, and then go back.
Mrs D: I work in London, I don't live in the town, so I’m going to be taking an entire day off work.
Council: I'm sorry about that, but this is the process and we cannot provide a larger bin without first inspecting how much recycling you're actually doing. You may not really need it.
Mrs D: I can assure you I do. It is the Council that wants me to recycle more, yet when I do, I can't get a larger bin without an inspection.
Council: If you wanted a smaller bin we would give you one right away.
Mrs D: Hang on, so if I rang up and asked for a smaller recycling bin you would just say "OK" and give me one with no inspection? I thought you wanted me to recycle?
Council: We do want you to recycle.
Mrs D: But you've just said that if I called you and said I wasn’t recycling very much and needed a smaller bin you would just give it to me. But if I call and say my bin is not big enough for my recycling I need to be inspected to make sure I really am recycling as much as I say I am. That sounds like you want to make it harder for people to recycle more and easier for them to recycle less.
Council: Sorry, but this is the process.
Mrs D: OK, thanks.

How I love this country! I wonder how much this recycling officer that inspects bins to check to see if you're lying gets paid?

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