Long time readers may recall that I wrote about our city council’s annual hard waste collection last year. Hard waste collection time has rolled around again, and as happened last year, the verges are full of people’s junk, and the roads are being patrolled by second hand goods retailers, and bargain hunters, all looking for treasure.
We have had a grand throwout, getting rid of all sorts of plastic junk and broken appliances. We put our hard waste out on Friday, and by this morning, very little was left. But I am a little astonished by what people have picked up out of our pile of rubbish. Did it not occur to the person who took the grey plastic watering can that it might have been thrown out because it has a huge, unpluggable leak? As for the computer screen, it has an eye-straining waver, and the microwave oven simply no longer works. I hope that whoever took these items has the skill to repair them.
Some things we threw out because we had grown out of them. I hope someone with a small lawn is able to sharpen and use the old-fashioned push reel lawn mower. We used it quite successfully for nearly a year, but it was always a stop-gap solution for us, until we got a motor mower. Our children have long since grown out of the last stroller we had cluttering up the shed, and they don’t use the clam shell paddling pools any more, but some other family may find them useful.
We’ve done quite well out of our neighbours’ leavings ourselves. For some inexplicable reason (conjunction of planets, pattern in the tea leaves, malicious intervention of the FSM, whatever) we had just run out of ring binders. Fortunately, someone a few streets over was clearing out their office, and we were able to pick up eight or so good quality folders. One of them was labelled, “Thesis.” Unknown donor of ring binders, I hope you completed your thesis successfully.
Other people take the annual hard waste collection as a signal to put out their prunings and choppings from their gardens, so that their neighbours can use them as firewood. We’ve collected quite a store for the winter – thank you!
But you may recall this chair. Mr Strange Land bore it home in triumph last year, for (the then) Miss Nine, who wanted a chair to curl up in with a book. I was dubious – too big, too beige. But they were both keen, and I thought that we could make it work, with a brightly coloured throw. Nevertheless, I wondered, “How long before it ends up in the hard waste collection again?”
I have an answer for that question now. As it turns out, exactly one year.
Miss Ten decided to dispose of it, so Mr Strange Land bore it back down the street, and deposited it outside the same house that we had collected it from last year. It must have been quite a surreal moment for the people who put it out in the first place. “That damned chair! It’s come back.”
It only stayed there overnight, as far as we know. When we looked down the street the next day, it had disappeared again. Someone thought it looked useful.
But will it appear again next year? I shall keep you posted.