Who’s up for a binman’s holiday?

Still on about France tonight. It turned into a bit of a council exchange trip, what with the visit to the council chambers and what I’m about to write about.

We’ve only just managed to get an-easy-to-use bin calendar and street directory on our website but it was a long time in development. It’s still not perfect. Some addresses are missing, particularly houses in the countryside, up farm tracks with no street address. That may sound acceptable as they are exceptions to the rule but if you think it through, most people look out their window to see that bin the neighbours have put out – these excluded addresses have no near neighbours to copy so these are the very people who need the information to hand.

The house we stayed in in Saint-Quentin (I’ll blog about that another day) was on the outskirts of town in a grid of terraces, a bit Coronation Street but with French panache – shutters, intricate lace curtains, door knockers and weird stable-like panels in the front doors that could be opened without opening the rest of the door which sometimes made passers-by look like they were talking to closed doors when in fact they were talking to the person behind the open panel.

On our first foray into town HimIndoors commented on the wheelie bin outside each house. We advise people to paint their house number on the side of their bin so there’s no confusion after an uplift. In Saint-Quentin each bin has a huge sticker with the contact details of the cleansing department, the full address of the house and a bar code. On watching the bins being uplifted (yup, that’s how sad we are!) it would appear that each bin is scanned and I assume the weight of the contents is logged back at HQ via the onboard telematics system. How cool is that – you could issue automatic fines for overloaded bins or offending items in recycling bins.

However, what was missing was a QR code on the sticker. If this was added it could tell you instantly when the next uplift would be and if it was a recycling bin it could tell you what was accepted to go to the Wombles.

I’m thinking of doing a council package tour of countries that do waste and recycling well – I think I’m onto a winner.

This morning MiniHim was being deposited at his Gran’s and wanted the maximum lie-in which meant sending him off in his pyjamas. Unfortunately he didn’t want to take off these monster feet slippers so I had to think quickly.


Plastic bags it had to be!


From that I have learned:

  • even French rubbish is sexier than ours
  • plastic bags make great galoshes – I should have remembered this from the ’80s when I couldn’t part with my favourite leaky tukka boots although I wore those plastic bags on the inside ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today’s track

It won’t be televised but it might be tweeted.

Today’s recipe

Pork in tomato and basil sauce


Still on leftovers so I can get the freezer defrosted. This time I found a beautifully butterflied pork loin chop from the butcher and a portion of the sauce saved from the Pizza Chicken.


oil for frying

a couple of mushrooms, chopped

Method: Heat the oil in a small skillet. Beat the pork between two layers of clingfilm until it’s the thickness of a pound coin.ย  Add the pan and brown on both sides. Add the mushrooms and the sauce and let it bubble for about 15 minutes till cooked through.


  1. kate Goodall · April 11, 2013

    Love it ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve got photos of potholes and roadworks around the world from my time in highways. It’s perhaps lucky I haven’t holidayed so much since being involved with bins! Don’t even joke about weighing domestic bins. You could cut adult social care to within an inch of its life and probably close schools, but mess with people’s bin collections? *sucks breath in through teeth in style of cowboy builder*.

    The technology has been around for some time and is in use in some places in the UK – much more so for trade waste than domestic I’d think.

    Like the idea of the QR codes.

    • carolynemitchell · April 11, 2013

      Ah, now French roadworks – that’s a while different blog (I’m serious!).

  2. kate Goodall · April 12, 2013

    You should see the Nepalese constructing sewers in Kathmandu or repairing landslides on mountain roads. Our H & S people would have kittens.

  3. Pingback: Whoโ€™s up for a binmanโ€™s holiday? | weeklyblogclub
  4. thebuddster · April 14, 2013


    You should put the Netherlands on your waste/recycling tour. They also weigh your bins but they sink you street recycling under ground to save space. Also you take plastic or glass bottles to the supermarket in exchange for cash or money off your shopping. It’s 20p ginger bottle returns taken up a level.
    Love that Gil Scott Heron track too. Am planning to use it as the basis for my next social media report to my seniors. Just need to get @c1aran to learn to play the flute. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • carolynemitchell · April 15, 2013

      I feel a fact finding trip to the Dam may be necessary ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • thebuddster · April 15, 2013

        If you’re going give me shout and I can give you some tips on a few cool things to check out. My folks lived there for 14 years. You can buy really cheap records there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Pingback: Blogging, walking, leading and bins | weeklyblogclub

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