Friday 1 December 2017

Pay by Weight

Pay by Weight advisory letter. 
December already! Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? Tonight the post will mainly be rubbish. (No change there, I hear you heckle) - in this case the recycling and landfill stuff we put in those wheelie bins. We the customers of this service are to be moved, as promised, onto a 'pay by weight' system instead of paying just a standard 6 monthly rate.

Daffs just starting to show their noses.
My Brit readers may not be aware that 'over here' waste disposal is not done on the UK system of being included in the 'Poll Tax', so in Kent, we paid our £120 a month (or so) and trundled the bins out on the necessary day, paid to have them jet-washed if we chose and thought no more about it. Here, the "Local Property Tax" is very new and much smaller - more like €100 per YEAR and does not cover any services (as far as I know). You sign up to the local waste disposal contractor separately - in our case the man from Barna Waste spotted that we had moved in to the house and came up the drive on foot to recruit us.

The mead is still bubbling away.
We pay €175 per 6-months which covers both wheelie bins. In our case this is for recycling (cardboard, paper, tins, hard plastic (bottles and trays but not bags), metal etc, but not glass, plastic bags or crockery) in the blue bin and for landfill (black bun; everything else but not green or veg waste - we compost that - or glass bottles). Glass we take to the bottle bank (the "Drive of Shame" we call it). Wood we burn if possible.

We judge ourselves to be pretty good at this and keen to tread light footprints across the planet and we were fairly sure, when this much-talked-of change to pay by weight came along we'd be on the 'good guys' side of the fence. 'Barna Claus' might be making a list and checking it twice, but we hoped we'd be on 'nice' list. Rumour had it that new tech on the bin-lorries and smart tags on our bins would let the contractor know what weight of the blue and black bins was on each 'lift'. If we sneaked too much weight into the black bin we'd get charged more at the end of the 6 month period with the surcharge added to the next bill. We weren't 100% sure what the trigger point would be but were pretty sure we'd be below it.

Lisacul Players' next production (from the website).
Well. Now we know. A letter arrived today advising us that we will continue to be charged €175 per 6 months but that is buying us an 'allowance' of 450 kg on the black (landfill) bin across the 6 months. If we go over the 450 we will get charged at 22 cents / kg. These are fortnightly pick-ups so the 6 month amounts to 13 visits, but the limit is quite a generous 34.6 kg per bin.

The season for hearty stews with loads of root veg. This one
from one of the culled cockerels - a Roo Stoo?
We can relax. We have never even got close to 34 kg. This is confirmed by the flip side of the advice letter which helpfully tells you what you put out for them in the 6 months April 2017 to Sept 2017, in our case only 110 kg. The blue bins are not limited or surcharged (though I assume they are checked!) but it was good to know that we only put out 78 kg via that route in the test period.

Bobtail's 3 chicks at 11 weeks seem to suddenly be like small
hens, rather than babies. 
Now the quick thinkers among you, at least if they are as cynical as I am, might be thinking that, hold on, if my €175 buys me an allowance of 450 kg of waste and I have only been using a quarter of that, might there not be space in these sums for a discount for the "very good" guys? There was talk of that in the early negotiations, apparently but any whisper of this costing less than the €175 has vanished from the Barna Waste communications. Ah well.

Meanwhile, everything else is chugging along. Bobtail's 'babies' seem to have changed overnight into small hens and left behind all traces of chick-hood. Stumpy's three (9 weeks) are not far behind. The white hen, Connie, is now settled happily in her broody-cage where she can get to food and water but none of her sisters can helpfully drop eggs in and add to her workload.

Stumpy with 2 of her youngsters. 
I need to make sure there are no hen eggs in there because if she hatched one of those at 21 days, she might get off the nest with it and abandon the nearly-'cooked' duck eggs. After a week this is not a problem, because any hen eggs dumped in would hatch after the ducklings which is not ideal but would not harm the ducks.

Connie's broody-cage. She is behind the
'galv' bucket which is on top of the black
tool box. 
I also finally got to pruning the willow hedge/arch, which is now in its 4th year so is producing some pretty big, thick unwanted branches.

Pruning the willow arch.
This is quite a major undertaking and produces a big pile of willow 'sticks'.

Nice and cosy. Connie sitting on 5 duck eggs. 
Enough for this one, anyway. Good night all.

1 comment:

Care Towers said...

Ah yes, the "drive of shame". We don't go to the bottle bank as our Council collection picks up glass in a separate recycling box, but our drive of shame is when the driveway collection has not one box of glass, but we spill over into the second one! That's in a fortnight... we blame the visiting children!!