From the Barber’s chair: How to cope with recycling after Christmas

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I always think you can gauge the success of Christmas by the size of the pile of salvage left over after all the presents have been unwrapped.

Well, judging by the heap of cardboard boxes and paper currently languishing in my garage ready to be hauled to the local recycling centre, Santa was very generous to us – again – this year. Job well done!

I don’t know how long it took the elves to put our parcel delivery together, but I can vouch for the fact it didn’t take the members of my family, young and old, too long at all to undo all their careful work to get to the goodies inside.

Looking at the mountain of rubbish left over from the frenzy that was Christmas morning at our place, I wondered if there is a ‘‘hot-line’’ to Lapland to arrange a special uplift to cart it all away.

Sadly, there is not, so my job now before the end of the year will be to pack it all into the back of the car and deliver it load by load to the council coup.

Previous experience warns me this will be an adventure in itself but, because we are only supplied with one bin for the specific purpose, it is inevitable.

There is only so much you can cram into a single blue bucket and the temptation to overfill it and hope the refuse collector will not notice and empty it into the back of the lorry anyway is pointless – ‘health ‘n safety’ and all that.

So, starting today, the job will be to sort everything into the proper piles. Cardboard here, bubble wrap there; polystyrene over here and paper over there. After all that’s done, the logistics of packing it all in safely into the family vehicle will come into play.

The parcel shelf will have to be unhooked and removed from the rear of the motor and the back seats folded down and the front passenger seat inched forward to make even more room before the loading can begin.

All that sorted, I’ll be heading out to Roughmute where the ‘Welcome’ sign will greet me as I pull up and I expect the high-viz team will be ready to inspect my goods and direct me to my variou dropping off 

While I may have been tempted before to cut a few corners and fire in boxes which still have the dreaded polystyrene inside, a definite ‘no-no’ by the way, I will navigate my way around the facility in a carefully planned way ever aware that I’m being observed by the council’s recycling ‘polis’ every step of the way.

I anticipate queuing at certain points.

I am even prepared to park up some distance away from any specific destination if required and walk the rest of the way, bundles of rubbish in my arms.

I will be focussed on the task in hand and get the job done properly and without fear of falling foul of the rules.

I’m also trusting in the fact this remains the season of ‘good will to all men’, so that if I do err during the off-loading process my fellow ‘Roughmuters’ will extend a bit of seasonal understanding!