EVERY Monday night at teatime the giddy excitement starts to build. Tuesday is bin day round our way and throughout this pandemic – lockdowns and all – it has been the one constant you can rely on (well, weather permitting).

As soon as the plates are cleared away and the dishwasher loaded, there comes a joyful gallop to the fridge door where the collection schedule is pinned, eager to glean what lucky bin will be whisked down the drive to the kerbside that evening.

Scanning the colour-coded blocks on the calendar is like spinning the wheel of fortune. Where will it land? Grey? Blue? Green? Brown?

This joie de vivre is probably down to the fact that the ceremony of bin day is still fairly new to me. Throughout my adult life, I stayed in flats with communal bin sheds. I have never had a bin – or four – to call my own before.

Until a couple of years ago, home was a Glasgow tenement where the general waste collection was served by two rows of manky metal bins similar to the one Top Cat lived in. There was no glamour there. Not one jot.


These days general waste has curiously become the most thrilling. Perhaps that is because in my council area it only gets emptied on a three-weekly cycle. Cramming everything in can be a tight squeeze and feels like a task on The Krypton Factor – even for the most goody two-shoes recycler.

The two recycling bins for paper and cardboard, glass, metals, plastics and cartons end up similarly filled to the brim. A potent reminder that most of us, however diligent, are still arch foes to the planet. They are a bit of a killjoy, to be honest. I'm secretly glad to see the back of them.

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I find food waste the dreariest. There's typically very little of note in there, usually just a few citrus peels, mouldy leftovers found buried in the back of the fridge and the fat trimmed from meat – the small clutch of items I don't chuck on the compost heap.

That said, proceedings always seem less mundane when there is some garden waste that can be tossed in to spice things up. I know, I'm easily pleased.

Bin day feels like a blackboard being wiped clean. I appreciate that it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I draw comfort that I'm not the only bin day geek: the Irish author Marian Keyes recently donned an emerald green cocktail dress and glittering earrings to mark the occasion.

"Just putting the bins out! Big night tonight, DOUBLE bins!" she wrote on an Instagram post. "It might be a while before I get to wear this dress and earrings in the outside world. We take our chances where we can ..."

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You have to admire her pizzazz. Mostly, I wear old jogging bottoms, a baggy jumper and slippers to take the bins out which has left me wondering if I should be upping my game?

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