by Mike Sole
Those of us of a certain age will have fond memories of being woken by the tinkle of glass milk bottles jangling against each other in the early hours of the morning.
Soon we will once again have our slumber broken, but this time not by the cheery milkman and his electric milk float, but by the crashing of glass being tipped into Serco diesel recycling trucks and wheelie bins being dragged across pavements.
Canterbury City Council has taken a lot of stick about the Serco waste service. Missed collections, broken down trucks, rubbish left on streets then on top of that coming cap in hand to the council for more money.
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As of May 1 our bins will be collected any time between 6am and 6pm. What will that mean in practice?
Well, for a start more bins out overnight, blocking pavements. For the first few weeks at least, bare foot, bleary eyed, pajama-clad residents will rush from their front doors, dragging bins behind them as waste disposal trucks disappear from view.
So much for fewer missed collections.
For those of us living in rural areas without street lamps another problem arises.
Whether 6am or 6pm, in the winter you can’t see your hand in front of your face on a cloudy night.
Will the council be providing headlamps for bin men as they stumble around, avoiding numerous potholes in their quest for wheelie bins?
The solution to the rubbish service that so many of us have received is investment in more modern vehicles and additional staff.
Just extending the working day will only create different problems.
“I get up when I want except on Wednesdays when I get rudely awakened by the dustmen”, may have been the lyrics from Blur’s Park Life that we all recall. b
But very soon those words may be ringing in your ears every week.
Mike Sole is an accountant and former Liberal Democrat Canterbury city councillor. He campaigns on community issues, especially litter, and lives in Kingston with his wife.