Bin Philosophy

It has finally happened. After years of waiting we now have "wheely bins". These are bins on, surprise, wheels, which replace our old style, non-wheeled dustbins. The idea is that we wheel them to the kerb on the day the dustmen call, whereupon a cunning device empties them into the lorry, saving 17.5 seconds per house and allowing for for efficient refuse collection and better service all round. Hurrah.

I've been dreading them. For a start you only have the one bin. The colour leaflet is quite specific about what to do if you have too much rubbish to fit in it. The official advice is "keep the excess until next week". This advice, whilst workable in the short term, does have the potential for long term rubbish accumulation if you throw away as much as we do. Then there is the question of the path down the side of the house, which is not quite wide enough to support the bin at some points and has a sheer drop of at least three and a half inches down one side, which could lead to bin disasters that I'm not keen to contemplate.

But the final problem is the actual realisation of a philosophical question that has bothered me for years. We now have two perfectly serviceable dustbins to get rid of. But how do you throw away a used dustin? We could leave it outside for the bin men, but nothing will happen to it. It might get emptied, but that is not what we want. I think I might paint, in large friendly letters, "I am not a bin" on each of them and then leave them outside for collection. We shall see.