ONE morning in February I awoke soon after 6am and looked out of the window. It was still dark and it was snowing.

Suddenly there was some noise.

The refuse collectors had arrived to empty the bins. We often refer to this day as our “bin day”.

It occurred to me that we should have an annual bin day in the sense of a day when we remember the vital service that these people provide whatever the weather. We would also consider our own behaviour where waste is concerned.


The recent strike in France by refuse collectors demonstrated the potential dangers - not just the unsightliness and the smell but giving rats and other creatures a field day with consequences for health.

The bin day would remind us of the damage that waste can and does do to our environment and wildlife such as the number of creatures large and small that die miserable deaths caught in discarded netting or through ingesting harmful waste.

Bin day would highlight the need to put pressure on the government to force cutting down on the absurd amount of packaging, e.g. buying a few mushrooms in a rigid plastic container covered by film.


Litter is a persistent problem.

Leominster is well supplied with litter bins but you even see refuse discarded close to them. Perhaps some humour would help like the signs I saw in Australia pleading: “Don’t be a tosser.”

I recently noticed a news item reporting that an artist, Michael Armitage, has produced a tapestry celebrating the “unappreciated work” of refuse collectors which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery when it reopens in the summer.

Our bin day would help to ensure that this work is appreciated.



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