Today is Pension Day again. A day of great excitement in the parish. All the old folks are flushed with Euros, and the taverns are a-jumping. Well, they are until about 6pm when the OAP’s need a lie-down.
Friday is also Bin Day – my particular highlight of the week. To see a big truck on our single-track lane is quite exciting, only beaten by Nathy’s heating oil tanker which (thankfully) calls less frequently – especially if it’s the 6,000 gallon monster, totally unsuitable for South Sligo’s winding farm tracks.
Our local arrangement, trash-wise, is that we have alternate collection weeks for our two types of waste produce; domestic rubbish and recyclables. Today is recyclable rubbish day which is called The Green Bin Day – and that means putting out the blue wheelie bin. And of course, next Friday is a Black Bin Day for the landfill stuff, and that means we must all put out our green-coloured bins. Only in Ireland could such a simple and memorable system have been developed.
Dividing waste up into landfill and recyclable is a fairly new exercise in the west of Ireland. I often wonder if the local licensed waste carriers are as regimented as our old Bin Wagon service was over in Dublin. Over in the capital city, the Bin Man called every week to empty not one but three separate wheelie bins containing trash carefully divided up by each householder. There was landfill domestic, recyclables and also garden waste. However, I noticed that, each week, our Dublin bin man simply emptied all three bins into the same compartment at the rear of his huge truck. Having observed this, one time (after a house party) I placed some empty bottles into the garden waste bin. Later on in the week I was reprimanded by our conscientious bin man with an East European accent: “No bottle in garden,” he lectured.
“Just this once, please,” I pleaded. He reluctantly agreed, and then tossed the contents of all three bins into the landfill crusher of his shiny wagon. I waved him off, vowing to never break the (environ)mental rules again.