Thursday Thoughts # 61

from Make Me, the latest Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child
"He set the alarm in his head for six o'clock in the morning, stretched once, yawned once, and fell asleep."

from The First Third by Will Kostakis
"It was a moment. And when you put all the moments together, the letterboxes, the speed limit signs and the condiment bottles, you got a sense of how chaotically awesome it was to have Sticks as a best friend."
Today's Thoughts
I've tried to do that Jack Reacher stretch, yawn, sleep thing and I've got the stretch part right, and the alarm in the head is something I've always had, but I can't sleep after just one yawn. Even with deliberately slowing my breathing, (another thing I've always done), I still get a half dozen yawns.  Unless I'm super exhausted. Then I lie down and wake up several hours later.

A little excitement in the city last Tuesday. I was on my way home after going somewhere, because I do that sometimes, and the bus driver announced we'd be taking a detour as a section of city was blocked to traffic because of a fire. First thing every passenger did was look out the window to see if they could spot smoke. And there was plenty. 
I texted my daughter, who has better internet skills than me and she got back to me really quickly with news of a fire in Hindley street. It appeared to be the Grand Chancellor Hotel. I watched the news later Tuesday evening to find it wasn't the Hotel, but a pile of rubbish and old mattresses had been set alight deliberately behind the Win Chung Academy, (Wing Chun?) behind or beside the Grand Chancellor, I'm not sure where it is exactly.

These old mattresses and boxes etc, were used by quite a few homeless people to sleep in at night. These poor souls now have to find somewhere else to shelter from the cold.

Anyway, we detoured our way into the city, along with every other bus and car, as we crawled past the Hindley Street end I looked down there and saw four fire engines, a bit later two ambulances came along, several people were treated for smoke inhalation and of course there were police cars everywhere with their lights flashing. 

An article in the newspaper last week about our rubbish collections caught my eye too. Apparently there’s some talk of people having to pay for each piece of rubbish they throw out. The mind boggles. Each bagful? Each individual used tissue?
Clearly that’s a blanket statement, I can’t see any government official, no matter how lowly,  going to every bin in Australia and counting rubbish items. 
Further investigation, (listening to the news) reveals this is more about what people, are or are not, putting in the recycling bins. 
Too many people are putting recycling materials in their regular landfill rubbish bins. 
Too many other people are putting regular landfill rubbish in their recycling bins.There may be fines for this in future. (i.e. the government wants more of our money and will get it any way they can.....)

Now, I have a problem with this recycling caper. 
In theory it’s a great idea. In real life, it doesn’t work so well. 

According to those in the know, it only takes one wrong bin load to contaminate an entire truck load of recycled rubbish
Which then goes to landfill. 
So three hundred people do the right thing and one doesn’t and all their good work is for nothing. 
My own problem here, in the flats, is that we have one recycle bin to be used/shared by the tenants of four flats. 
I do the right thing, crush my empty boxes, wash my empty cans and jars, take them to the bin only to find it is already overflowing with uncrushed boxes, dirty containers and other rubbish that should be in the regular bin. I’ve seen two litre jugs of curdled milk, cake boxes with mouldy cakes or doughnuts in them, filthy clothing, last week the bin had discarded bedding and curtains. 
They simply do not understand the system, or more likely do not want to understand the system. 

So I’m (unwillingly) giving up on recycling, unless there is room in the recycling bin. 
I’ll still crush and wash, because I don’t want my bin stinking and attracting wildlife. But more of my discards will now be going into my regular landfill bin. 
If “they” want to fine me for that (highly unlikely) I’ll state my case as written here.


  1. One recycling bin for four emptied once a week sounds insufficient to me. Try and continue to recycle and encourage others. At times I 'decontaminate' our recycling bins if something is easy to remove. I've never been able to verify that about one item wrong means the whole load goes into landfill. The recycling systems are quite sophisticated now.

  2. Andrew; it is emptied only once a fortnight. It's near impossible to encourage those who don't speak much English and can't see the difference between rubbish and recycling goods. To them it's all rubbish and they'll fill the bigger bin. Our landfill rubbish bins are quite small and mine always goes out with only one small bag of rubbish in it.
    I used to 'decontaminate' the recycle bin, taking out boxes and crushing or tearing them up, rinsing out curdled milk etc but I very soon got sick of doing it. And, 'they' think we're stupid for sorting rubbish.
    My solution is to hold my recycle goods until the bin has been emptied, then tip it all in. On the 'off' collection week, I'll check if there is room and put in my newspapers and cans. Very little of my recycling goes into my landfill bin. We do each have our own landfill bin, which is collected weekly.

  3. The people across the road seem to have decided to give up on taking their bin back from the kerb each week. It makes the street look super messy. I'm not a fan of it at all. :( Plus I have seen a very large black garbage bag in the recycling bin for more than a week now and it seems to be full, so I'm guessing that was a recycling fail whale.

  4. Do you pay for collection, or is it a city service? We pay, and the bins are emptied once a week. In addition, they call it "single stream." There is a regular trash bin, and a recycle bin, and the recycle goes down the recycle line for sorting. The rest also goes down a line, and the recyclables come out before the rest is consigned to landfill.

  5. Snoskred; there are some tenants here who leave their bins out for days at a time too. Slackers!

    Joanne; it is a city service, and we have three bins per private household. A small one for landfill rubbish, collected weekly, a large bin for recyclables, collected fortnightly and a large bin with a different coloured lid for 'green' waste, such as garden trimmings, lawn clippings and veggie scraps etc suitable for composting, collected every off fortnight.
    I don't know how the truck loads are sorted, hopefully we have the same system, with rubbish going down the line and wrong items being removed.

  6. I am jealous about the green waste. Our local government keeps talking about it - and not doing it.
    And as we head out on garbage days it is painfully obvious that quite a lot of people don't bother to sort.

  7. My husband does the recycling in our house. As we travel we don't necessarily recycle.
    The people in the other flats where you are, are making it hard for you to dispose of your rubbish..
    Heard about the fire on the ABC news here in Streaky Bay...can only get that news on TV..

  8. Elephant's Child; I'm surprised you don't have green waste bins, but at least you have enough garden to make your own compost heap if you wish to.

    whiteangel; I should think recycling while travelling is near impossible. The people in the other flats are an odd bunch. They probably think I'm odd too.

  9. We have four compost bins, but there are things which are too big or unsuitable for compost. And lawn clippings can swamp them...

  10. "Make Me" on its way to us right now and looking forward to it.
    My mum could do that wake up thing but I've never succeeded.
    We followed all the news about your CBD fire and it of course
    could have been far worse but I believe one building may have
    to be demolished. Sorry about the homeless people too.
    We too have problems with people not giving a damn about what goes in which bin. Problem is there are so many items you have no idea what do with. Old socks for instance. They tell you not to put them in either bin. Op shops don't want really old clothing so you have to wait till the junk verge collections. If you put out a bag of odds and ends you find scavengers then come along and empty it out to see what's in it.
    I think one of the problems is we have developed into a throw away and take away society and buy so much packaged and tinned goods. When I was a child we had one small metal bin that never overflowed. The garbo would pick it up and throw the rubbush into the truck and many people at Christmas would leave out a bottle or two of beer.
    I believe parts of our suburbs in October are going to try out 3 bins which supposedly is going to solve the problem.
    I remember years ago Don Burke (on his programme) talking about recycling and his opinion was "it's just a load of rubbish". I think he knew what we all felt about it.


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