13 July 2015


Now that we have wheelie bins for everything I am actually enjoying the new recycling system. I happily tear up cardboard boxes so they fit into the paper-pod. Yes, I know I’m odd. It’s just that I was brought up to believe that you can’t successfully fit a square peg into a round hole and in that regard the new wheelie bins are extremely challenging.  I’m the same with the dishwasher, placing crockery in the right places means I get more in. As with the cardboard ... even if they fitted it’s no good stuffing whole boxes in because that limits the available, somewhat inadequate space. The section for paper is tiny compared to the rest of the bin which doesn’t even get a quarter full. Obviously, designers are not what they were!

The centre bin has a small paper-pod at the top
Here’s a thought that came to me whilst dismantling an empty box: now that we have to do so much recycling, wouldn’t it be a good idea if box manufacturers simplified designs, used less staples and/or glue. The other day I came across one that was cleverly designed ... not a speck of adhesive anywhere. The design was in the cutting, with strong cardboard flaps that slotted into each other. I didn’t need scissors or brute strength to get that one ready for recycling. Perhaps I should suggest it. Perhaps it would earn me a few pennies for ingenuity. Perhaps not, since someone else already thought of it. What I need to do is lambast all the firms who make cardboard boxes, and I would – if I could be bothered.

What amuses me most are cartons that are made from waxed card. It’s not the cartons themselves that make me smile, it’s the tiny plastic pourer and screw cap. Small enough to be missed yet, apparently, extremely valuable. It’s a bit like finding a gem in a haystack, don’t you think? Unfortunately the time hasn’t come when waxed card can be recycled but the plastic cap can so consistently I peel it off the box. What a privilege for such a tiny object to share a bin with all the other plastic, metals and glass that households gather with such abundance. 
So, after flattening the carton and disposing of the pourer/cap we throw the carton in the ordinary refuse bin. While all this recycling is going on the refuse bin is almost empty while the others could be spilling over, or would be if we hadn’t been warned about THAT!

Plastic carrier bags are handed over to the man who delivers the groceries;
apparently the supermarket does its own recycling. As already stated paper goes separately and we do our fair share in that department.... literally throwing into the bin all the unwanted and unsolicited free newspapers, brochures, and advertising leaflets. And thereby hangs another moan. Whoever designed the wheelie bins obviously had a warped sense of humour or he missed out on the heaps of reading matter thrust through his door. That’s why I spend so much time ripping up boxes and folding paper so that it will all fit in that too-small space.  I mean, we have to allow for newspapers, don’t we? It would take far too long to shred them before recycling!


  1. Sounds like it could be worth lmentioning this to your local council. Ours now uses a system whereby you mix up glass plastic and paper in one big bin. For the first time ever ours was totally full this week, we bought a couple of big items that came in loads of packing,

  2. Jenny, don't you have a special paper pod? Ours is situated at the top of the bin allocated for glass, plastic and metal. If we have extra paper/cardboard we have to parcel it up and leave it at the side of the bin because there's no room in the pod for extra paper.

  3. "I’m the same with the dishwasher, placing crockery in the right places means I get more in." My feelings exactly, Valerie! When I used to have a dishwasher, I was the same way!

    We have those recycling bins here in the States, however, I've never seen them with a special paper pod. That's an excellent idea! We have separate bins for plastic, glass and paper.

    " wouldn’t it be a good idea if box manufacturers simplified designs, used less staples and/or glue."

    Yes it would!

    Great post, dear lady! Have a super week!

    X to you and Joe

  4. Good afternoon, Ron. It seems, from yours and Jenny's comment, that West Midlands are in advance of both London and Philly. I don't know for sure but I imagine the bins are designed specifically for particular areas. We used to dispose of paper WITH metals etc but that changed a few months back. I guess it depends on how recycling centres cope with different materials. The pod is a great idea, just not big enough when there are large packages to dispose of.

  5. Funny how all bins are different. Ours is like Jenny's; everything just goes in and they sort it at the recycling plant. Job security I guess. And it is amazing how much less 'garbage' we end up with at the end of the week.

  6. ..And in fact shredding the paper seems to make it more bulky, if the waste compartment in our shredder is anything to go by! How very odd to make the paper compartment so small - a single large delivery box might fill it!

    We have a whole separate bin for recyclable materials, which includes glass, plastic and aluminium foil now (though it didn't at first). I think Peterborough is a bit of a leader when it comes to recycling which is great for us residents. We even have a brown bin for garden refuse and a little food waste bin, which is small. The food waste goes out weekly, and the others are collected on alternate fortnights. The brown bin is fortnightly except in winter when collection stops altogether for three months - but we do have to pay a fee for garden waste, or we can take it to the tip without charge.

    How funny that we both posted about environmental matters at the same time!

  7. Any recycling is where its that, I do it.

  8. You deserve an A+ in recycling Valerie. I enjoyed reading this post.

  9. We have four bins - general rubbish, paper, glass cans and plastic, and a green garden food waste bin. We love recycling, it's so satisfying and environmentally friendly. :)

  10. Hi Pearl, yes I enjoy it. Have done it for years in my own sweet way. I don't think I could cope with four bins though, I mean - where would I put them all... grins. I would like to be able to dispose of unwanted foodstuffs though - it always bothers me to put it in with ordinary refuse. I suppose one day our council will get around to supplying a facility for it.

  11. Some of those cardboard boxes are so strong they could be used for caskets. H-m-m-m, now there's an idea for recycling.

  12. We have three bins and I love them. They make life so much easier when it comes to recycling.

    Greetings from London.

  13. Good cause. Still keeping it convenient and simple helps the whole process too...:)

  14. Good post, Valerie! Recycling is always a good idea!


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