Thursday, November 06, 2003

Welcome to the future

In the '60s the future was holidays on the moon, space stations and monorails everywhere. By the 1970s, it was doom gloom, resource crises and all the rest of the Club of Rome Limits to Growth scenario.

So it's well past 2001, and I have seen the space station go over, though I can't catch a scheduled PanAm flight up there just at the moment. And it looks like we're more into the 2nd of the Limits to Growth scenarios - take off resource input restraints, and it's pollution that chokes things off. So inter alia our local council is having a go at killing both birds with one stone and imposing a fairly draconian waste policy.

As a consequence, I spent some time this morning sawing up corrugated cardboard boxes to fit into the new green recycling wheelie-bin that we had delivered yesterday, for tomorrow morning's collection. The bins were supposed to be deleivered a couple of weeks before the first collection using them, but that's the way things are, so I had to make use of the only intervening daylight to go through the accumulation of "not recyclable yet" stuff from the garage that now could be put out.

There is a bit of the "living in the future" about going through all the bins and putting plastics, used cat-litter and other insanitary stuff into one pile, paper into another, card another, metals in yet another, and glass in another. Just not the future that I'd been hoping for when small.

The new wheelie-bin scheme will have collections of green waste and other recyclables one week, and the non-recycled the other - which means that if you're away on holiday on a black-bin week, the waste will be 4 weeks old when finally collected. I just hope that the rigorous separation will reduce the amounts above the irreducible non-recyclables so that 3 weeks worth will fit in a bin. The green bins are useful, though, as the garden generates more compostable waste than I can make use of, so having an official way of handing off rose prunings, grass clippings and similar compostables will eventually free up some space in the set of compost heaps behind the garden shed.

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