Kirklees’s Merry (Bin)Men Go Rogue

November is the coldest month, isn’t that how the phrase goes? For the good people of Kirklees we do believe it is so. Due to what the council have ever so reluctantly described as ‘operational issues’, thousands of residential wheelie bins lay cold and neglected by the wayside this Winter without a jacket or set of socks betwixt them.

What began as contained instances of domestic wheelie bin neglect soon grew into a district wide epidemic, with residential wheelie bins absolutely engorged to the teeth on household waste all the way from Meltham through to New Mill and Thongsbridge – from the meadows of HD9 and down endlessly through the recesses of time. At the time, ‘significant operational issues’ were the only given reason as to why more than 4000 wheelie bins hadn’t been collected. In what has been described by some as 2017’s worst kept secret, it has now, eventually, ultimately transpired that there was indeed a walk out by the bin collection services, though as of today the council have refused to say why, reports tell us only that between five and ten workers refused to finish their shift one day last week. Clocking off early for a trip to the pub – or shades of something more sinister, perhaps? Corruption at the highest level of the Kirklees waste department? Who can say? For some reason not the council.

At present neither Unite nor Unison (both major unions at the council) have been unable to confirm if they are involved, begging the question: why? If this were a justified and pre-arranged strike action one thing that is assured is that these bodies would be vocal. With everything taken into account, the logical assumption here is that the walk out is an isolated act perpetrated by a merry band of rogue bin men. Highwaste men. Vagabins. Makers of mischief singing rosily from the treetops as grey wheelie bins lay forgotten on the pavement below.

Oh, the Maiden of Haydock was ever so fair!
With a song in her hand and her scent ‘pon the air.
Alone now she’s wondered with ‘nerry a care..
Oh the bins? They must wait now, just wait ‘till we’re there.

*This may or may not have happened.

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Kirklees’s Merry (Bin)Men Go Rogue

Charity Thief Throws Good Will in The Bin

Once again someone has used a wheelie bin for nefarious ends. When will this madness end? I ask you. According to reports in the Mail Online & The Birmingham Mail, a rapscallion from Ashby has been loading a wheelie bin with stolen Charity shop donations like some sort of deranged reverse-bin Santa, his trusty 240 litre gift sleigh being pulled between Leicestershire’s charity shops by a pack of feral dogs that he’s sort of managed to tame. Perhaps the most concerning thing about this situation is that the authorities are presently unclear as to the accuracy of rumours that the culprit can in fact see you when you’re sleeping, or indeed if he’s somehow aware that you’re asleep at all. Leicestershire Police are currently investigating allegations of domestic burglary and voyeurism. We’ll keep you updated with the most recent developments on this one, but please, for goodness sake, we ask you all to just be good – we don’t fully know what he’s capable of yet. Budget Clause is coming to town.

Reports tell us that Angela Sherratt, 54, confronted the man outside of a Cancer Research as he rifled through donation bags, loading the finest of the pillaged treasure into a wheelie bin. According to Ms Sheratt’s husband John, “he wasn’t just taking things out of the bags. He was putting whole bin liners in the bin. There were three or four bags of stuff. That bin was chocker.” The couple proceeded to ask the man, who didn’t appear to understand English, to put the items back, though the man continued to look through the bags even as he did so. According to witnesses, “he didn’t need help. Not at all. He was well dressed and wearing quite trendy jeans”. At this stage the thief in nice jeans’ identity is still unknown.

Donations to Cancer Research are particularly welcome at this time of year.

Charity Thief Throws Good Will in The Bin

Minutes of RWM – The Sleepless Week

According to Benjamin Franklin the only two certainties of this world are death and taxes. A timeless proverb undoubtedly, though were he a media salesperson one that would probably read slightly differently:
“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and that the visitation figures will always be up year on year at any given B2B trade show. Up year on year, fellow Patriots. Book onsite Citizen, to guarantee yourself the right stand for next year’s event, where something tells us the visitation figures may well be up yet again. God bless this United States of America”.

Ah the Trade Show. For some dreamers it is an opportunity to transfigure into birds of paradise and flaunt their wares in such a way that will entice new and exciting types of customer. For other more weather-beaten souls, shows are a biennial excuse to fly the company banner and reminisce, if somewhat despairingly, about the golden age of the trade Exhibition. For let us never forget that special time in history, that little contained instance that came somewhere after the invention of the automobile but before widespread use of the internet, a time where business men and women from across the UK would come together and roll their sleeves up to get Networking done the good old-fashioned way. No tablets. No smart phones. No enhanced digital Deluxe media package option. Just a man, a woman and a big old leather briefcase positively bursting from its cockles with sweet, tender business.
I just want to go back Doris – back to when it all made sense. What even is WhatsApp?

For us at BritishBins, RWM was a place to talk about compaction and benefits therein – and talk we did binthusiasts, often for hours upon end with very little water and toilet breaks. The show was a busy few days in which we were able to garner considerable interest for our innovative mini compactors and bin tipping equipment by launching hundreds of miniature wheelie bins at whoever was within throwing range. Whilst being an ultimately successful time onsite for us, RWM 2017 was also a fascinating exploration into how the human psyche operates when confronted by free giveaways: it’s always for “the grandkids”. It’s obvious you don’t have Grandchildren Michael you’re 26, just admit you want a mini-bin and own how that makes you feel. At any rate, the coming weeks and months will be the true measure of a shows success, though the volume of people stopping by the stand is cause for initial positivity, and spirits are high here at Bin HQ. True, our natural charisma and showmanship aided the effort, though all would have counted for nothing if the people weren’t there, and for that we tip our hats to the organisers and the show at large. Our thanks to Ascential for pulling it off.

Much like with camping, you soon learn what needs to change next time at trade shows, and our trip to Birmingham brought with it some interesting lessons, the most significant being that Premier Inn Broad Street need to take a long, hard look at the thickness of those duvets. Seriously, where’s the middle ground? And I think I speak for all of us when I say we have collectively learned once again that an exhibition’s visitation figures are always up on the preceding year. Those boundless and aspiring visitation figures, feverishly growing year on year like cell division, increasing exponentially and without restraint until the world is eventually comprised entirely of Octanorm shell scheme and every human being in existence is scanned by robots on their way to and from the toilet. Up year on year, forever and always.

Congratulations to all involved with the show and we’ll see you next year.

Minutes of RWM – The Sleepless Week

This Town Ain’t Bin Enough For The Both of Us

Whoever said that the Wild West is dead was lying to you. According to a recent article in the Daily Record, the true spirit of that anarchic Frontier lives on, though apparently only in the west-central Lowlands of Scotland (or more specifically in the administrative centre of the Renfrewshire council area), in a town called Paisley. Billy The Kidd eat your cowboy heart out, for the story of Adam Ferguson Snr. trying to run Iain McCreight down in his van to decide once and for all who gets to clean the wheelie bins of Paisley is a tale that makes the notorious high-noon duel look like a salesperson who mentions how happy they are it’s Friday in order to build a rapport: a total and complete farce.

Ferguson and McCreight have run separate wheelie bin cleaning services in the Glenburn area for the last seven years. There have been tensions, as one would expect when two behemoths of bin cleaning roam the same stomping ground. Things seemed to be going smoothly until one fateful day Ferguson, having had enough of sharing the glory and renown, decided to usurp the competition and seize the crown for himself as the last living heir to the localised wheelie bin cleaning dynasty.
No longer will I play second fiddle to you, Iain! Paisley’s dirty wheelie bins are my birth right, along with ALL the domestic waste containers of the surrounding lands of Renfrew extending up to though not including the Bridge of Weir and Clydebank. As you well know, cur!
What the final straw was we may never know – the only thing we can be sure of is that this man loves cleaning bins so much he is quite literally prepared to commit an intentional act of murder to continue doing so.

On December 21st, Ferguson attempted to carry out his own personalised brand of frontier justice but with a receptacle twist, allegedly trying to run his business rival down in his van by driving straight at him on Nethercraigs Road. This is a claim that is disputed by Ferguson and his wife Marjory, who claim that they weren’t there, it never happened, and that they don’t even know what a van is, so everyone should just leave well alone, alright? Convincing enough. In those typical cases of a wheelie bin cleaner attempting to brutally murder their business rivals with a heavy loading vehicle, that defence would normally be sufficient; however, nothing about this case can be classed as normal. Namely, this is not the first time Ferguson has attempted to run down Mr McCreight with a van. In June last year, Ferguson was convicted of common assault after he tried to reverse over Mr McCreight when they were both working jobs on Islay Crescent, a heated crime of passion that occurred in the throws of an embittered turf war for the very soul of Paisley’s residential waste containers. Different street –  same hilariously misguided attempt to restore balance to the free market.
As funny as it is, somebody should probably inform Mr. Ferguson that running Iain over with a bin cleaning truck isn’t a pragmatic solution to all of life’s little problems. Some, but certainly not all.

For me, the most interesting part about this story is Ferguson’s character arc. Not to imply that he has in any way grown emotionally or come to peaceful terms with Mr McCreight, instead what is far more fascinating is the thought process that led him to believe that instead of reversing, driving forwards at speed was definitely going to be the way to further his commercial ambitions. If you think about it, there must have come a time at some stage between the two incidents, in the dead of night, with Marjory at his side, where Ferguson Snr. suddenly woke in a cold sweat, sat bolt upright and, with a knowing grin, whispered to himself: “No reversees”.

This Town Ain’t Bin Enough For The Both of Us

The Trojan Siege of Birmingham City Centre

Everyone has a hill that they’re prepared to die on. For some, that hill is a 900-year-old time travelling alien God being reincarnated through an entirely fictitious process as a person with breasts on the grounds that it deviates from realism. For others, Death Hill can be found just around the corner from Nihilism Creek, but a stone’s throw from those who chew loudly. For the mainstream news media however, this final, pastoral battlefield appears to exist everywhere, except for the places that truly matter. Whilst they’re all busy indulging in an industry wide act of hillside Seppuku, with news presenters and talk show hosts alike hysterically falling on their own microphones in a largely misguided honour-suicide pact, the bins have finally invaded and there’s not a news channel around that’s prepared to report it. As Trump’s thumbs caressed the Twitter keyboard, as Boris Johnson lived long and loud enough to see himself become a villain, as we were all distracted by Brexit and ISIS and the mindless happenings of Love Island, the waste containers pressed their advance. And today, in this most despairing month of July, we need now acknowledge the reality of our times:
Birmingham City Centre has fallen to the combined might of the Wheelie Bin & Refuse Sack Armada.

For years. For years they’ve plotted, plotted in the shadows, devising and perfecting their little binny ruse-scheme. Brute force alone would not be enough to secure the uprising, this they knew all too well from the infamous yet often unacknowledged failure of Durham in ‘72.
“Lost a lot of good bins that day. Polyethylene bags, too. The smell of burnt plastic still haunts me night’s. Worst thing is the young’un’s. A generation of bins growin’ up into 1100 litres without the guidance of their seniors. Heart-breakin’.” Anonymous survivor of the Bin War of Durham.
The bins now knew they needed a Trojan approach, a plan that could exploit the weaknesses of their Masters without risking mass obliteration for all Bin-kind. For decades they sat dormant, watching, waiting, performing their primary function of domestic waste collection so flawlessly they began to fool even themselves, until one fateful day their ace in the hole reared its head: a disconnect between Local Councillors and Binmen in the city of Birmingham. Just how the bins managed to have their metaphorical fingers quite so adeptly on the pulse of the Council’s interdepartmental relations will forever remain a mystery; the most likely explanation we’ve come up with involves deep-cover sleeper agents embedded into strategic positions of moderate power throughout the metropolitan region of western-central England and more fake moustache-glasses than you can count.
“How can we possibly win against an enemy so great?”
“Leave that part to us laddy, you just concentrate on cutting eyeholes into all of these newspapers”. Verbatim account taken from a conversation at the Council of Bins bi-annual meeting.

However they did it, what matters now is that it’s done, Birmingham City Centre lays submerged in swathes of unchecked, undocumented, uncollected rubbish bags. The bins have bested us. They applied pressure so brilliantly to a situation that even now has no foreseeable end. They knew, so diabolically they knew, that both the council and the binmen had valid points, that whilst the Council are only trying to mitigate overspend from previous years (£8.4 million spent last year on overtime and agency fees), the binmen are resisiting a seemingly tyrannical move to a 5-day week, with the downgrading of 113 supervisor jobs and an end to overtime. On the surface both sides seem to be acting in non-malicious interests, both convinced that what they’re doing is the right thing – and that’s why this is such a genius play by the bins, because by destabilising the situation, fuelling this shutdown of communication, the only thing that is certain now is more bins. More refuse sacks. Defeat by the machinations of Bin – stirring the boiling pot of municipal tensions wherever they can. Do you genuinely believe it’s a coincidence that in 100% of public sector workplace arguments, there’s a bin lurking within earshot?
Lyle forgot to clean out the work microwave again. The lonely food waste caddy looks on, motionless.
Maxwell parked in Sam’s space again. The wheelie bins of waste point D observe, silently.
Oh look, Davina forgot to take the bins out again. No, she didn’t Julie. I think you’ll find, she didn’t… Run.
“That’s funny. I could have sworn I took those bins out this morning. Such a queer thing.” The last words of Davina Willett, recorded from the final telephone conversation between her and her husband.

According to Unite regional officer Lynne Shakespeare, unionists met with council bosses “in the hope of agreeing a form of words that would enable us to enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute”, a sentence that is so unnecessarily convoluted the Birmingham Mail initially attributed the source to a GCSE English student at a local school, though were quick to correct themselves. The strike is now expected to run on through to September, as Lynne goes on to say that “instead of seeking resolution, waste service management has sought conflict”. The sad irony here is that for all the talk of conflict prevention, a full-scale war is what’s coming our way if this strike goes on much longer – which is why to both parties I say put aside your hopes for petty, material gain and unite against your true existential enemy! Stand together and fight the wheelie bin nemesis, for they are already at your doorstep! Since this folly has been going on, the number of missed bin collections have risen drastically to 5000 a week. That’s five thousand renegade bin bags on the streets per week – a figure that should chill the blood of any God fearing Brit. What are less jobs, stretched budgets and broader workers rights when compared to the prospect of a hostile bin takeover? Because that’s what’s coming: total and complete subjugation by means of bin guile.

And so it was that the Wheelie Bin & Refuse Sack Armada used the Birmingham binmen strike as cover to mobilise themselves. The perfect plan in many ways, for no sane person would ever question the abundance of waste containers and rubbish bags lining the streets of the City. No sane person could reasonably question it. But the sanity of a brilliant mind cannot be measured by ordinary standards – we know what you’re up to bins. So on behalf of us all we say to councillors and binmen alike: get around that bleeding negotiating table at a time when talks are still ongoing and sort this out for the good of Humanity. Our future lies with you, only you, you beautiful waste people of Birmingham.

The Trojan Siege of Birmingham City Centre

News and comment 16/11/2016- Dacre before the horse

 

In a particularly newsworthy week, it’s nice to see that the Daily Mail have their priorities sorted out. This week’s bin news and comment stems from the tabloid’s calm and measured discussion of what it calls ‘THAT PHOTO’. “What photo?” I hear you ask. ‘THAT PHOTO’ of course. There’s no need for a modicum of context; it’s ‘THAT PHOTO,’ and if you don’t know what ‘THAT PHOTO’ is by now then you may as well give up you out-of-the-loop cretin.

I’m ashamed to admit thorse-running-on-the-beach-wheelie-bin-stickers-panel-green-500x500hat I am very much an out-of-the-loop cretin, as I was initially ignorant of the photo-that-needs-no-introduction. I cast my mind to various possibilities: could it possibly be that stark image of Obama’s ethnically diverse staff, frowning stoically at Donald Trump as he visited the Whitehouse as president elect? Or perhaps the picture of said president elect- the apparent epoch of the anti-establishment- standing smugly in a golden elevator with Kermit the Farage. Well, as it turns out, my thinking was too narrow. Because THAT PHOTO, as I’m sure you’re very much aware, was obviously the photo of a drunk 23-year-old woman at a horse race in Melbourne pretending to ride a wheelie bin like a horse.

Upon viewing the photo, it all became so clear. Clearly this was THE photo; an image, or should I say icon, that will outlive us all. A picture may speak a thousand words, but Paul Dacre thinks that an image should speak two thousand words, so the image is accompanied by a thousand more words; words such as ‘tiny blue dress,’ and ‘antics’ and ‘shame.’ Quite what a 23-year-old Australian woman is doing being drunk at an event that gives out free champagne is so mystifying that the Mail felt the need to publish photos from every single conceivable angle just so its grateful readers really know what they’re dealing with.

And what they’re dealing with is a woman, a DRUNK woman, in a TINY blue dress, riding a WHEELIE BIN, like a HORSE!!!!!.

News and comment 16/11/2016- Dacre before the horse

News and comment 04/10/2016-Chariots of ire.

 

With great effort, Margaret prises her eyes open. An eerie light is piercing her blinds, and her bedside table is shaking violently. She manages to squint and just about register her jittering alarm clock before it dances off the side and crashes to the floor: 3:30 am. Mustering the courage to squint through her blinds, she sees, and suddenly, enveloped with dread, she understands. A horde of dark shadows, moving ever closer. The light begins to flash now, faster and faster, resembling a warning light, or a strobe. Rise of the Valkyries inexplicably starts playing from her tinny radio, and then, over the swelling crescendo, she hears those hallowed words: ‘DOOWN IT FRESHHEEER!’15574344-large

Yep, get to the bomb shelters unsuspecting residents, it’s that time of year again! The time of year where young people all over the country get to embrace new levels of academic rigour, finally discovering like-minded minds to discuss hermetic intricacies with over a game of chess and a nice cup of tea. Or, perhaps more typically, finally discovering like-minded minds to bellow 90’s pop songs down suburban streets at half three in the morning over dangerously cheap Sambuca shots.

The freshers have arrived, and, as always, they have graciously invited street furniture along for the ride. Though it’s not just the traffic cones; it seems that this year wheelie bins are getting in on the action. The Lincolnshire echo reports that barely a week after thousands of students arrived in Lincoln for the start of the academic year, locals have been ‘plagued by students chariot racing with empty wheelie bins.’ One of the students in question recently proclaimed that this is merely a noble if slightly abstract effort to drag the Oxford boat race into the 21st century, but to be fair he was a pretty pissed at the time.

Some residents of Lincoln have started the ‘Shush’ campaign, hoping to reintroduce ‘silent nights’ to the area, but these efforts have been branded a waste of time. Many residents now enjoy putting the early hours in which they are awake to good use, by reflecting contentedly on the spiralling debt and dire housing prospects these young folk will one-day have to face, before laughing diabolically and sticking the kettle on.

 

News and comment 04/10/2016-Chariots of ire.