Monday, 11 June 2012

Womble Karma


♫   Underground, overground, wombling free
The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we.
Making good use of the things that we find,
Things that the everyday folk leave behind.   ♬


Possibly worrying that I didn't have to go to Google to look up those lyrics - I can't remember to get something out of the freezer for supper but I can remember a daft song from 40 years ago.

Anyhow, here's a story.  A few weeks ago I was walking through Cockermouth early one morning and there was a drinks carton on the ground.  Litter irritates the cr*p out of me so I picked it up.  A couple of feet away was a large dustbin which had been put out for collection and I figured I'd drop the rubbish into it.  When I opened the dustbin I found two clean, undamaged blue mushroom boxes carefully placed at the very top.  I could see their potential in the greenhouse so I did a quick swap - I took the boxes, put the rubbish in the bin and walked on.  If there's a law against taking something out of a rubbish bin I haven't been prosecuted yet.

When I got home I started thinking about these boxes.  The dustbin was outside a restaurant so this was unlikely to be a one-off.  I went to see the chap who owns the restaurant and explained what I had done.  It turns out that disposing of the boxes is a big problem for a very small business because our local council charge a huge amount to take away trade refuse.  To cut a long story sideways, since then I have gone over once a week and collected between 5 and 8 boxes which are a godsend in the greenhouse and nursery.  I'm happy and the restaurant owner is delighted because he has so much less rubbish to deal with!



The boxes are a perfect size for the 35-cell seed trays, they hold twelve 9cm pots and I'm sure there are many other uses I haven't thought of yet.



Womble Karma - if I hadn't picked up someone else's rubbish off the street I would never have found this treasure.

Shame the boxes aren't green but you can't have everything, and if you want some yourself, make friends with your local Chinese takeaway ☺

13 comments:

  1. Great idea Bilbo, but why on earth are these not being collected when the new mushrooms are delivered and sent back to the growers??? What a terrible waste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're quite right SewAli, but our society doesn't yet have a mindset that tries to re-use everything and for the grower it is probably cheaper and easier just to keep sending out new ones.

      Delete
  2. Hee hee, meant to say what good memories your little ditty conjured up, I wouldn't have needed to look up the words either. Bet I have it on the brain for the rest of the day LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But did you go to YouTube to listen to the song?

      Delete
  3. I too know the Womble lyrics - the tune is a slow-ish jive and I spent many teenage hours dancing to it. And last week, while sitting in The Theatre By The Lake waiting for Dry Rot to begin, I commented to my wife that the background muzak was a fast jive; now neither of us can remember what tune it was. So I clearly remember things from 40 years ago, but not a week ago :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, well Roddie, what a lot I have just learned about your youth :} Have you remembered what the TBTL muzak was?

      Delete
  4. Hi Bilbo, I too have found these blue mushroom boxes floating around in alleyways behind shops and cast aside on industrial estates. Like yourself I've collected a few off the local Chinese takeaway and our little greengrocer often bundles half a dozen together and sells them for 99p. Useful little things aren't they.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello HP, thanks for visiting and your comment. What a clever greengrocer to sell them - I offered to pay our takeaway owner but he said he ought to pay ME. Allerdale Council charges him £1.50 per bag for trade refuse so I think I'm saving him a few quid. BTW, have had a quick peep at your blog - the bottle greenhouse is a splendid project, will be back soon for a proper look.

      Delete
  5. Another one who remembers the Wombles song! I'm surprised that you haven't sparyed the boxes green! By the way I think there is a law about taking things from skips and dustbins but who would be daft enough to use it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Morning Sue, yes there is a law against removing items from waste containers and I am sure there is someone out there who'd like to try a vexatious prosecution. Taking copper pipe from a skip because of the resale value is one thing, I'd like to think that reusing plastic boxes would not be treated the same way. And I DID go back to the rubbish 'owner', tell him what I'd done and offer to pay him for the boxes :}

      Delete
  6. I know you wish your mushroom trays were green, but you cannot deny the visual impact all those blues make amidst the green. They look like nets of sky nestled under the plants. No one here would consider trashing such a recyclable plastic over here. Delivery men leave new and take away empties. Those that go 'free astray' are, like yours, coveted garden/storage treasures. Lucky ducky you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS - As for removing items from a recycle bin, here's a link to one of my older posts. Me & the Law

      Delete
    2. Thanks Kris, I don't really mind them being blue, Sue was joking :} Laughed at your link, very enterprising recycling - am surprised you didn't ask the young man for assistance, "Officer, would you kindly help an old lady ....." {snortle}

      Delete

So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

and I always delete spam - my blog, my rules :-}