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When I was tiny, all our rubbish went into a metal dustbin which was collected every week by a ‘dustman’ who’d carry it over his hunched back, along our path to wherever he emptied it into a lorry. Although it never occurred to me at the time, he probably suffered constantly from back and shoulder problems, muscle strains, cuts and the like but he always came, week in, week out.
Nowadays our refuse collectors seem to have it easier, working in teams and generally placing wheeled bins into a mechanical contraption that hoists them over a lorry, rotating them so they empty, before returning them to ground level where they’re wheeled back to the footpath. And although kerbside recycling necessitates operatives having to sort tins, jars, bottles and plastics (which may not have been washed), I would still say that refuse collectors are far better off than they were when I was a child.
Am I the only one then, who gets frustrated with the system, upon reading fairly regular news stories about councils refusing to empty people’s bins for one reason or another and forcing householders to drag their bins to a collection point some way from their homes
The latest involves a couple in their 70s who’ve lived since their 20s in a private lane in Rugby, which is now deemed too potholed for the bin lorry to negotiate. I can understand that the council needs to look after its fleet, but why can’t it arrange for one of its team to leg it the half a mile up the lane to collect the bins – even if they are left for the couple to pick up next time they go past?
Our own vehicles are constantly damaged and our bodies jarred by unseen potholes but we have to put up with it; yet more and more often we read about people having to drag their bins to a collection point some way from their homes, because there’s a problem with their road. Council ‘services’ - what’s happened to them? Or do those forced to do the council’s work receive a council tax refund for the pleasure?
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14th May 2015