Today’s walk was the Mostyn Road, Kingston Road, Cannon Hill Lane, Martin Way quadrangle.  Passing Rutlish School in Watery Lane I remembered Mick Copleston, my boyhood friend who attended the school during the 1950s.  A contemporary of his was John Major.  In the photograph of the school cricket team which adorned all the newspapers after John Major’s appointment Mick stands next to our former prime minister.

I enjoyed a fry-up at the Martin Cafe.

I bought yet another birthday present details of which must be concealed from a potential reader.

Today being refuse collection day I am going to talk rubbish ( OK. OK. I know, I know…..)

Bin collectors no longer go round to the back of the properties to drag out and empty dustbins.  Those days are quite rightly long gone.  What we do is leave black plastic bin bags out at the front.  This means that the foxes have a field night and the residents and/or unfortunate street cleaners have to pick up the pieces.  In the morning therefore gardens and streets are strewn with food packaging and bits of food even foxes and magpies reject.

Merton’s recycling containers are open plastic bins into which everything is placed together – paper, cartons, bottles, etc., etc.  If it rains, as it has done continuously throughout this month, everything gets very soggy.  It is surprising what the contents of these open bins tell you about the residents.  Newspapers and magazines are one indication of interests, politics and taste; bottles can be very revealing; and it is easy to tell whether people cook or eat precooked food.

What is common to almost everyone in Merton, it seems, is a total rejection or ignorance of guidelines about what to recycle and how to present it.  Cardboard containers are never flattened; tops are left screwed on drinks containers; nothing is rinsed; slices of pizza, chicken bones, rancid vegetables and suchlike are all left in their containers, most of which are of the wrong material to recycle or so soiled as to be of no use to anybody.

This may seem like a rant.  It is merely descriptive.

I am not foolproof either. Each Local Authority has its own requirements, and when in someone else’s home I am often unsure.  When living in W2 in Westminster I faithfully bagged up shredded paper for recycling until we got a notice saying it was not required. I don’t suppose confetti is much use either.

As someone who doesn’t know what happens to this stuff after collection I wonder ‘am I wasting my time trying to to my bit’?  What does happen to it?  How much is actually useful?

Who knows?

This evening we are having Lamb dopiaza from the freezer.  Another one I made earlier.  The rice is courtesy of the Watch Me leftovers from last night.

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