SunLive         

Sometimes it’s nice to tackle tough subjects with a serious face framed by a furrowed brow.

This has taken some hours in the mirror to perfect so let’s be quick before the effect wears off.

The first thing we need to tackle is, of course, rubbish and the scandalous way in which the Tauranga City Council is rummaging in your affairs.

As a member of the upper echelons of society, I hire a wheelie bin for rubbish. I don’t know how much it is but I know it is not too expensive because it only gets paid once a year. Only two things get paid once a year – the wheelie bin and the regional council rates.

Greenwaste goes into a big pile and eventually turns into a pumpkin patch. This only becomes an issue during summer when Mrs Hutch complains about the flies and insists I “get rid of” the lawn clippings some other way.

Problem solving

This was a significant source of domestic tension – I mean how many different ways are there to get rid of lawn clippings? I can’t just throw them over the fence to Dave. Eventually I discovered the mulch mower. Pure witchcraft. Problem solved.

We do still have an embarrassing problem with glass bottle each week though. This got so bad in April that I seriously considered building a semi-submerged igloo out of them just to prove to the neighbours I didn’t have a drinking problem. Far better to be a hippy on a special mission to build an earth ship.

Fortunately I live on a corner section and when lockdown ended and the recycling trucks started moving again, I was able to put loads of bottles out on each road. Within a month the mountain had disappeared.

Number crunching

Plastics are an issue for me. I don’t know how many hours have been spent searching for tiny transparent numbers on transparent plastic items but I could have used that time to learn another language. I suspect I have completely upset the efficient processing of recyclables by confusing my number sevens with my number twos.

Speaking of number twos – a lot of people think the council’s decision to force a multi-bin system on helpless citizens stinks to high heaven and is tantamount to communism.

Councils have historically been connected to rubbish disposal, of course, but it became unfashionable during the zero waste movement of the late nineties and early noughties, or whatever those years are called.

This does however, represent a significant renaissance, with residents to receive no fewer than four bins and as many as five if they supersize and opt into the garden waste thing.

Start your engines

In student cities this is actually enough wheelie bins to hold a Grand Prix race down a sloping street circuit. It will certainly be an impressive sight out on the street on rubbish day.

In fact I was just reading the other day that a new Guinness Book of Records was achieved by Andy Jennings from Swindon in the UK for ‘World's Fastest Wheelie Bin’. He got up to 64kmh. If that doesn’t inspire you to get on board with the new regime, I don’t know what will.

Now, I’m no rocket scientist but I’m willing to bet that anyone who produces one bag or less of household rubbish each week is going to be surprised and disappointed by the council’s decision.

Five dollars a week may not sound like much to the rampant consumers, the drunken scribes and the hippies but to those for whom the budget is already under stress, it means the loss of something else.

On a roll

The second thing I wanted to expound seriously upon this week is the dreaded Lime Scooter, which the Tauranga City Council recently agreed to approve for a period of one year, as a trial.

These little electric scooters are available for hire by any idiot with a smart phone. They developed a terrible reputation early on in most towns and cities, mainly because they were a novelty.

My first experience with one of these evil terrors was in Christchurch last year where I buzzed around a circuit of the Avon River and Victoria Square, like an oversized child with a new toy.

However, the novelty does wear off and just the other day, in Taupo, where they have recently completed a trial of scooters for hire, I saw a strange site.

Four young men – or idiots as they are usually known by not-so-young men – gathered around two of these scooters and discussed their strategy. Two placed their backpacks on their front, two on their backs.

They then calmly mounted the scooters, two-apiece and gently glided off in tandem down the footpath to whatever adventure they had planned elsewhere. Pure genius and about as small a carbon footprint as you will find anywhere.

Save the planet.

daniel@thesun.co.nz

Daniel Hutchinson
From The Hutch