The story of my Sunday would, if told, merely be a repeat of the old lamentation about a married man’s time not being his own, You’ve heard it before, so consider yourself told.
The added twist today was that we needed a clothing recycling bin.The situation over much of the UK is, I believe, that there is no room in the existing bins, and many bags of clothes have been left next to the bins to gather rain and look a mess.
Our bin of choice used to be the one for Police Aid Convoys at TESCO. This was because we found TESCO easy rather than because we have any desire to clothe the children of the Balkans or obey the instructions the police plaster on their bins. Some people just like giving orders.
They removed the bins about a year ago. I am not sure why.
Our other bin of choice was the Salvation Army Bin at Hall Street Car Park. That isn’t there any more as it had become a mess with the amount of stuff being thrown near the bins. There is a tendency amongst some people to think that if a bin is there to take old clothes you can also throw old cardboard, glass and builders’ rubble there too.
So we tried the one outside the local undertaker. Not the ideal spot, if you think about it sensitively, but we thought it was worth a shot. It wasn’t. The bin was full.
That left us with Plan B – head for Bread and Lard Island, the epicentre of mindfulness and associated gubbins in Nottingham.
So, off we went. I’d passed the bins at ASDA on Tuesday when looking for a key cutter. They had seemed pretty clear, with nothing thrown on the floor, so there was a chance that there would be some space.
There was no mess on the floor but each of the four bins were full to the brim. I was beginning to think that you can see why so much clothing is thrown away in landfill every year.
Our main recycling day is Sunday, when we are both off, and of course, most charity shops are shut on Sundays. The bins are important, but they are often rammed full and we have been known to return home with our recycling to try another day.
I would like to point out that I am aghast at the waste of clothes and the fact that people only wear them for an average of 2.2 years. I wear mine until I grow out of them (which is another story) or until they wear out. I have a number of clothes, as I noted when going through them, that have lasted considerably longer than that. Some of my underwear goes back to before the kids were born. It’s a bit threadbare now but I’m not going to be showing it to anyone but Julia (and possibly A&E staff) why do I need smart boxers? Same goes for shirts – my favourites tend to get worn a lot and after about seven years they fall apart. I don’t mind worn collars but when the bottoms of the pockets wear out or the fronts wear until they are see-through you need to get rid. My everyday trousers are currently all about four years old – I know because I changed styles a few years ago when Cotton Traders started to skimp on sizes.
Anyway, we finally ended up in a car park with four clothing bins – two for Police Aid Convoys and two for Scope. I like Scope because they often have people with disabilities working in the charity shops – putting their money where their mouth is. Our local Mencap shop, in contrast, is quite unwelcoming. We do take our stuff there from loyalty to Julia’s work, but they are always very sniffy. I’m not sure our junk meets the high standards of the shop manager.
Two of the bins actually had room in them, though I managed to jam one of them with my first bag. The last remaining bin did take the rest of the bags, though I had to keep putting my arm in and moving bags – the bins are not well designed.
So in the end, all was well, though the recyclers really need to up their game if they want my help.
The next farce will involve books. I have to get rid of several hundred but the woman at the Oxfam bookshop on Tuesday was refusing to accept donations.
I am a reluctant shopper and try to make my clothes last as long as possible. I regularly repair clothes and anything up to two or three years old, I regard as new. I have recently, reluctantly had to add a number of items to the recycling bag as I couldn’t repair them any more.
Good to hear I am not the only one with these old-fashioned ideas. 🙂
No, you’re not 😉
I tend to wear things until they wear out, myself. The amount of wastage that goes on as part of modern day living is mind boggling.
A fascinating post. We now have to pay for taking some stuff to our recycling centre; register our cars; and visit only by appointment. Flytipping seems on the increase. Alex Fu’s photo looks like one of your multi-stamped envelopes.
I hadn’t noticed that, but yes, I can see the resemblance.
Fly tipping will increase in line with the difficulty of using a proper tip – I’m afraid councils are actually causing some of the problems. First ours started getting picky about what they would take, then they directed me to which tips I could use (which weren’t the closest or easiest to use), then they started extra charges.
Fortunately I am able to get rid of my stuff in the bin or in a skip when we have one, though even skip companies are getting pickier about what they will take. What’s the point of a skip if you can’t throw rubbish in it?
Quite a quest! Glad you were successful. People through so much stuff away.
I once saw someone donate a large pile of colourful shirts that were as good as new. If I’d been the right size I’d have considered making him an offer. On man,s trash etc 🙂
Right! Sure makes me wonder when people do such things.
I think some people like looking good and they are prepared to ignore the damage we are doing to the world. But I am having a cynical Monday.
Perhaps Cynical Monday could be an ongoing post. 😉 I do understand how you feel. Sometimes I feel the same way. Too many of us consuming too much, and we are destroying this beautiful planet. I make a conscious effort to avoid excessive shopping, but I will admit that at times, I am tempted and give in to buying something I don’t really need.
I think we all do that. We are still a long way from where we need to be.
We sure are. Sigh.
🙂 We will just have to keep trying.
I went around to Goodwill the other day to drop some things off and their drop off was closed and there was a threatening sign about leaving anything. So I still have a big bag in my car to give somewhere. I’m not sure what’s in there anymore. My niece always tells me that I should take a lot of my stuff to consignment shops, but, as you say, people can get sniffy. There are some nice things and some things that are nothing special but good and don’t fit me anymore. Like you, I have clothes for a long time. I wear them until they look shabby or become threadbare–up to 25 years with some things. But lately, I’ve begun to expand, a new thing, and don’t feel like trying to fit into the things again. So off they go, but still, they’re a few years old. I can’t imagine dumping clothing every two years. I don’t like shopping very much…
I always think signs need to be carefully worded as they won’t put off the people who would abandon the stuff, but they can be off-putting to the people who wouldn’t dream of doing it anyway.
Look on the bright side, the longer you wear the clothes the more fashionable shabby-chic becomes!
Mrs T kindly turns worn out collars on my shirts, a vanishing skill these days.
Julia is of the modern school, which involves trying to shame me into spending money and looking smart. I carry on wearing them until something else goes.
I have just looked at an online tutorial on collar turning – I might have a go next time it happens. I am bound to make such as mess that she will step in and do it for me.