My Bin is at my Door

This isn’t a particularly auspicious start to an entry on an already boring blog, but bear with me. Our bins are usually collected on Thursdays, and yet, we are still awaiting collection now – Monday evening. The reason for this state of affairs is that our local “refuse collection staff” are on strike.

There was some strike action last week, which knocked the whole collection cycle out by a day. That meant Thursday bins would now be collected on Friday. Unfortunately for us though, there was additional strike action on both Friday 16th and Monday 19th November. I am assuming that it will be collected tomorrow, but this will mean our bin has been outside the house for nearly a week before its eventual collection.

Here in the Eastleigh Borough Council area, we have alternating bin collections: recyclables (green bin) one week and general domestic waste (black bin) the next. We are currently awaiting green bin collection, but obviously this will have a knock-on effect on the other, black, bin. This is bad because the council will happily take away any additional recyclable materials that are left beside your bin, but they will only (and I mean only) take whatever fits inside the bin with the lid closed. Anything else is your responsibility to dispose of. As our black bin is filling up at the same rate, regardless of whether people are on strike, we could be looking at having an extra three or four day’s worth of waste in the black bin. We almost always manage to keep within the 140 litre bin capacity over the course of a two week cycle (which is pretty good going), but add an extra weekend to that gives around 20% more waste, which won’t fit. So I’m guessing a trip to the local “household waste recycling centre” (“the tip” in old parlance) will be on the cards very soon.

The reason for the strike? The council are planning on changing the way the crews operate. The following quote sums up the council’s view on why the industrial action is taking place:

“Currently refuse collectors are paid for a 37 hour week although most work significantly less than this and finish on completion of their round. Some staff claim overtime for extra work within the normal working day. Now, the Council may require them to remain available for other tasks. We are not abandoning the principle of task and finish but we do want to make better use of any spare capacity. This will mean a better and more cost effective service for our residents.”

Now is it just me reading that incorrectly, or is there something wrong with people striking to avoid having to do the hours they’re paid for?