Nearly one year ago, I was profoundly moved by the amount of litter spoiling Elgin, which I saw every day on my walk to work at Moray College. I was so overwhelmed by the desperate need and dismayed by the fact that, despite living in a supposed advanced and liberal democracy where the golden rule (“treat others as you would like to be…”) allegedly prevails, some people still drop all kinds of nonsense around our shared spaces.
But I knew I must take action. So, the journey started with a small step – picking-up litter that I didn’t drop. A lot of the stuff. I hoped this would set a good example and eventually (around June last year) realised the importance of linking-up with others. Hence why I support the wonderful work of SPICE.
I’ve always wanted to do more and realised that the availability of bins is a significant piece to helping solve the puzzle. Whilst I personally would support less rushing around and restricted shop opening hours, which would also work to reduce the problem, I cannot impose that culture shift on others. Sadly, there’s no money to buy and service more lamp-post bins and education efforts take time to filter through, but we do have a not-so-secret weapon.
We all have green buckets. If you’re like me, there’s still extra space, even with fortnightly collections. So, I’m going to attach a piece of paper to my bin with sellotape, which will simply say: “Feel free to bin it in my bucket!” I’ll strategically position my wheelie bin at the edge of my property, where there is convenient space and easy access by passers-by from the pavement. Come March 2013 – when purple and blue bins are rolled out across Elgin – I’ll have more options (of the recycling variety) to add.
Obviously, I’ll need to watch out for high winds and potential misuse, but nothing ventured… I’d rather have my bin a bit fuller, than my street covered in litter. I’ve already decorated my bin with colourful “Loony Toons” and nature stickers to enhance their appearance. In work, I’ve been able to set-up a number of purple bins to start collecting more metal cans and plastic bottles. I’m also aiming, from September 2013, to be helping deliver courses where students are actually designing, making and servicing proper “on-the-go” recycling bins that can go in particular “problem” areas.
So, that’s some of my plans for the New Year. Can you help? I’ve created some sample posters, which can be downloaded from excalibrate.wordpress.com, or collected at the Moray College main reception. I hope you’ll join in because together we can do so much more. Thanks in advance for those who lend a trusty hand, or should I say thoughtfully fit-out a community bin!
Please note that again the trade marking is just so – if I ever see something similar being flogged elsewhere for financial profit – then I can fairly claim that it was dreamed up here first and should have some stake in the venture.