IT’S BIN a hard day’s night!

What a wonderful idea it was to supply a variety of bins of different shapes, sizes and vibrant colours to nearly all the residents of Stroud and its outlying districts.

What fun we had looking for places in our small courtyard garden to store these attractive receptacles.

I am grateful to the council for giving me the opportunity to help them to sort out the plastic from the cardboard, the foil from the batteries and the paper from the food, and please don’t misunderstand me, I am happy to provide my services in this aspect free of charge, in the knowledge that land fill sites will last that little bit longer.

I think the jury is still out on the potential savings (if any) regarding energy.

So it was with this in mind that I was delighted to find myself following the refuse truck this week and see at close quarters the operators picking up food waste and dumping the contents into two green plastic bins mounted on a platform to the rear of the mini-juggernaut.

The platform would periodically rise and cause the plastic bins to swoop upwards in a graceful, elliptical arc to decant their contents into the wagon’s capacious belly.

I was extremely impressed with the charming ballet conducted by the two “operatives” who walked in perfect synchronisation alongside the vehicle, with one to the right, and one to the left.

Obviously, each had attended the same course and had taken on board the craft of refuse handling to make it into an exact science.

Each one in turn would pick up a grey food bin, deftly flick the handle over to release the lid, upend the container into the green plastic bin, carry the bin back to within four feet of its original location and carefully throw the bin onto the ground so that it landed in precisely the same spot as it had rested on overnight.

This movement was repeated by each operator so that the bins lay artistically at every possible angle in the wake of the truck.

Careful scrutiny was required to determine that some of the handles of the grey bins, obviously objecting to his unexpected treatment, had decided to detach themselves from the main body of the bin, and these too lay in the wake of the truck or in some cases remained attached at one side to the bin but not at the other.

I am sure the council will have included in their estimates for refuse collection, a suitably large sum of money to cover replacement bins, and also allowed for the costs of rodent exterminator services relating to those addresses where “handleless” bins will now be easy prey for the various mice, cats, rats, squirrels and foxes to open and spread the contents around to find the tastiest morsels for their breakfasts.

My own bin has, so far, responded extremely well to the artistic efforts of the collectors but I know it will be only a matter of time before I will have to order a new one and I can only hope the council’s procurement department will have foreseen this eventuality and will have sufficient stocks available for replacement. Finally, I must congratulate SDC on doing their best to maintain my council tax at a reasonably high level to accommodate the new replacement bin exercise, and also in providing continuous employment to the bin manufacturers for many years to come.

Ron Lang