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For the past four weeks, the residents of Old Colwyn have been busily preparing for the big day.
Their challenge? To fit a month’s-worth of household rubbish in a single black wheelie bin, ready for collection on Wednesday.
Council - England - Wales - Collections - Residents
According to their local council — the first in England and Wales to introduce four-weekly collections for all its residents — this should have been a piece of cake. (Well, not cake literally, it has to go in a different bin, of course).
By simply sorting out their rubbish more carefully, they advised, householders would be able to recycle more, so freeing up ample space for items that have to be thrown away.
Residents - Bit - Planet - Council - Cash
In doing so, residents would not only be doing their bit to save the planet but would be saving the council much-needed cash too.
The reality, as I discovered during a trip to North Wales this week, is totally different.
Starters - Bin - Weeks - Bin - Matter
For starters, while only a single rubbish bin can be put out every four weeks, what that bin now contains is another matter altogether.
The favoured method in these parts involves climbing into the bin, then jumping up and down on the contents to compress them. Unpleasant, and not entirely risk-free. Others have resorted to stockpiling waste in sheds and garages, but complain about rodent infestations.
Sacks - Others - Permission - Resident - Dog
Still more try to off-load black sacks on others, with or without permission. Another resident told how whenever he goes out to walk the dog he takes a carrier bag of rubbish with him, stuffing it in pavement bins as he goes. Some simply burn their waste in braziers or on back-garden bonfires. Fly-tipping is on the increase.
In one town I visited, the over-sized wheelie bins set aside for flats had been fitted with padlocks. Those that had not were overflowing with black bags, many ripped open by birds or...
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With God all things are possible, but not probable.