BIN BANDITS A missing wheelie bin sends Fiona Armstrong into Miss Marple mode
Perplexed as to why anyone would steal a wheelie bin, Fiona Armstrong relates her mother’s rubbish situation
Idon’t want to spoil anyone’s breakfast by mentioning the ‘B’ word, but something has to be said… Shock horror. My mother’s bin has gone missing. Yes, bin and gone. Tuesday the thing is there. Wednesday it is not.
Who steals a wheelie? We pace the street to see if it has been inadvertently put in the wrong place. We knock on neighbours’ doors. I can tell you, they do not take kindly to being accused of being bin bandits.
Mum’s house sits on the edge of a loch and we prowl the paths, looking suspiciously at the water. After all, there is just a chance that this large plastic container may have been blown into the stream, floating merrily somewhere along with the swans.
As they say, seek and ye shall find. However, not in this case. Which is a mystery. Why has her waste disposal unit suddenly become an ‘as bin? And will the bin men – sorry, the waste management and disposal technicians – refuse – again, no pun intended – to take away her trash without one?
I know a missing rubbish repository is not the biggest problem in the world. Well, certainly not with Brexit around. But this ‘B’ word matters to Mum. Because it is her only outside bin.
Now you are probably veteran recyclers. You may well have a degree in gauging which garbage goes in which box. In your part of Scotland you may well have six or seven colourful containers, each one of
“If you want to sleep safely at night, don’t leave your wheelie bin outside
them positively teeming with the right sort of trash.
But here in Dumfries and Galloway, we’re pretty rubbish at that sort of thing. Here in the south-west of the country everything goes into the one bin. Paper, cans, glass, it all squashes in together. Although, to be fair, the stuff is eventually sorted back at the depot by a giant recycling machine.
But it means we only have one bin per house. And although we guard that jealously, in my mother’s case, we have obviously not guarded it carefully enough…
I decide to further investigate and found a website that goes into great detail about how to safeguard your wheelie. Indeed, a bin on wheels appears to be a prized item. Thieves can roll it away to rifle through the contents and get your personal details. Vandals could nab it and set fire to the thing. This is apparently a popular pastime in certain places.
If you lay it on its side, it can evidently act as a coal bunker. Then a wheelie bin also makes an excellent cooler for bottles of beer. Fill the thing with ice and the party’s on – unfortunately at someone else’s house, not yours.
Basically, if you want to sleep safely at night, the advice is, don’t leave your wheelie outside. Which is easier said than done for most of us. Oh, and buy a lock for the lid. That helps.
All that worrying about the wheelie. It is enough to turn the owner grey. Or more grey. Memo to self: make a hairdressing appointment to get roots done…
But back to my mother’s problem. The wheelie that went walkabout. After a day’s fruitless searching I contact the council and am pointed in the direction of another website where I can report the thing missing and enquire about a replacement.
Whether we must pay, who knows? What we do know is that we are now officially council reference number 371331.
I do hope that is not the number of people who have reported missing bins. We wait to hear what happens…