A few years ago, I bought a water butt for the back garden. The idea is that I get to keep all of the rain that falls on the back half of my house roof and then use it instead of the liquid gold I’m currently getting charged for by Southern Water.
At the time I realised it would take ages to repay the cost of it, by the time I had bought the barrel, the stand, the piping and the tap; it would be something like 50 barrel-fulls before it would break-even. I was doing my bit for the environment, though; plus it’s something useful to have (at the time there wasn’t an outside tap).
The other night it was raining and I was just locking up downstairs before going to bed. Then I heard the water trickling from the supply pipe into the water butt. It sounded quite loud and that made me realise something: if it’s loud, then the water must be falling a long way from the supply (at the top of the barrel) into the current level. That can’t be right because it’s rained for the past three days and it was full before that.
So at 1am I was outside in the rain with my torch and discovered that there’s now about 3 inches in the bottom of the barrel. Hunting around I found there appears to be a split in the bottom of the water butt and there’s a steady stream trickling out of it. I think the weight of the water must have something to do with the size of the split, because the last time I looked, it wasn’t losing any more.
So that’s a waste of money and the savings have literally gone down the drain.
It’s been a while since my last blog, and this one has the potential to be really dull: it’s about the bins.
We get a “householders guide” through from the council every November and it contains various bits of information regarding council services. It also contains two calendars: one to show when to put out the green or black bins, and one to show when to put out the glass & battery recycling.
Now this part of the country is pretty good for recycling, with paper, card, glass, cans, plastic bottles, and batteries all being collected free of charge, with garden waste an extra cost option. It makes other parts of the country seem very much behind the times with their token nod towards reducing landfill.
One thing which we have noticed in this year’s guide, though, tucked quietly away in the new booklet is a section which hasn’t been announced to any great fanfare: the recycling of food waste. Apparently, certain areas of the Eastleigh Borough Council area have been trialling a new system where you get yet another container (on top of your black and green wheelie bins; your black box for glass; and your green bag for garden waste) in which to put food waste.
Apparently you’ll get a 25 litre container for outside, with an extra 5 litre container for in your kitchen. The council claim that 30% of a domestic bin contains food waste. The idea is that any food waste goes into this new container (along with any shredded paper), and it is collected weekly to be taken away for composting.
Now I don’t yet know for certain what a food bin will be like in the summer with week-old raw chicken in it, but it can’t be a good smell. Hopefully this isn’t a step too far in the whole recycling thing.