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.