Our local council (Sedgef***d Borough) has at long last started a collection scheme for recycling plastic and cardboard, as well as paper, glass and cans. Hooray.
The first collection was today. Everything must be on the kerb by 7 a.m. They collected about 3.15 p.m. By then the wind which whips down off the Pennines was blowing briskly along the street, already merrily scattering the beer cans from one well-filled green box.
As the issued container for plastic and card is made of woven plastic fabric, it seemed probable that it would blow away when empty, the same as the green boxes and the wheelie bins. So when I heard the collecting vehicle outside, I watched in order to dash out and retrieve the various containers before they headed for Hartlepool.
The materials have to be tipped from their tidily packed containers into small bins on the side of the vehicle. This row of bins is then raised into the air and swung over the body of the vehicle, whereupon the carefully washed, sorted, and separated materials are dropped into different compartments - or in this case released into the wind and the wild, accompanied by cries of "Wahay!" from the men who watched as plastic bags, sheets of paper and yogurt pots swirled away up the street.
No doubt we shall be getting an increased demand for council tax to deal with the litter problem.