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For about two years I have been muttering darkly about the recycling collection service in Exeter. Not the service itself, and especially not that silly season story about the woman the council took to court (especially as recycling has improved dramatically since the case), but about the complexity of the collection dates.

Once a year the Council send out a leaflet informing you of the black (non-recyclable waste) and green (recycling from home) dates, and these are collected on the same day (Monday for me). In our street it's done at 6am because any time later and it would be blocking one of the main roads into town. So far, so simple. If you're not sure which week it is, you can look at what the neighbours are putting out on a Sunday night and get back in synch. But the white* (garden waste) recycling is on a different day, at a different time and - this is the good bit - not necessarily on the same week as the green. The quarterly council newsletter always said "if you are on scheme A for normal collection then..." which naturally assumed you still had your leaflet and could work out which scheme you were on. The website only offered the leaflet in PDF form. I complained more than once, asking how bloody difficult would it be to create a form online? I don't give a stuff for all the damn festivals the council organises, I'd prefer the money to be spent on basic services for all residents.

Today I'm planning to do my big garden clean up for winter. I bought my white biogradable sacks and decided to give the website a last go. Hurrah! You can now type in your postcode and be told when your next black, green and white collections are! There, Exeter City Council, was that so hard? You've given me the information I required about your services quickly and without me needing to phone up someone and waste ten minutes whilst they work it out. That's real accessiblity and openness. It also tells me there is no point doing the garden today, as the collection isn't till the 25th and the biogradeable sacks tend to, er, degrade, if left outdoors in the rain.

*residents who can have wheelie bins get to have a brown wheelie for garden waste but I only get the sacks.


In other news: I have mild RSI in my right hand. I think it's mostly due to using a wheelie mouse.

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Posted @ 11:44 am on Sunday, October 15, 2006
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