Recycling, 09.10.2013

I have had a very frustrating morning engaged in the mundane and highly unglamorous task of disposing of our recycling. Normally this is not a difficult job, especially with those lucky enough to have doorstep recycling. But recycling is yet another aspect of daily life that is considerably more difficult for water-dwellers than land-lubbers.

The downward bent began before midday. I had a good morning dealing with some perfunctory work tasks and rescuing a lost ring (though I did rifle through the whole of this week’s rubbish to find it). As you can imagine, after the party, there was a lot of recycling to do. I had binned it up into black bin bags and smaller bags and it was awaiting me on the deck. Initially I tried compressing it all into my panniers. But the sodden, heavy bags in their cheap and ineffectual black bin bags did not fit inside. So, with my hands covered in an unpalatable confluence of muck, old beer and filth – the alluvial deposits of the weekend fun – I wheeled my bicycle with its haphazard castle of black bin bags along the Mile End section of towpath to the Victoria Park boat facility. After twenty minutes of awkward pushing and messy readjustment I made it. But there was no recycling there, only domestic waste disposal. There were directions to a recycling spot 0.2 miles away.

It would not have been far for the average human being, but the weakened bags were beginning to belch out their contents. There were oozing and sagging like my spirits. Another twenty minutes of bicycle pushing ensued. At last I reached Victoria’s Crown Gate by the Old Ford Roundabout. I saw the small fuchsia-coloured recycling bins and dashed across the pelican crossing. As I dropped Bellissimo (my bicycle), at last the contents of the bags which had threatened to fall out all afternoon, avalanched onto the ground. Smelly tin-cans moistened with beer, misted bottles of Prosecco, plastic brownie-bite boxes, sodden Amber Leaf packets and rancid milk cartons were disarticulated from their wet bin-skins and popped into the open mouth of the recycling point one by one. But I was happy.

I think Harry is right. The next thing on the list is to build a trailer, a beautiful bicycle trailer. I think I want to name it Rocinante after Don Quixote’s horse.

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