“Take the broken household goods in my car down to the rubbish tip / Come back with more junk that I came down with.”
– paraphrasing a song by 90s comedy group Found Objects.
It can’t just be my suburb that has people who check out the abandoned hard rubbish collection, take their pickings, realise why they’ve been discarded and either:
a) put it back on my lawn
b) put it on their lawn to be collected.
only for the cycle to begin again.
The council says they will collect:
* Household Furniture
* Scrap Timber
* General Junk
My estimate is that about 70% of what is put out on the lawn actually makes it to the council tip. The rest just does a merry circuit around the suburban lawns until people are either happy with what they’ve scavenged or found someone’s front verge to dump it on.
Sure, some people troll around the suburbs, with their car (and maybe their kids in tow), ready to find some good pickings that they do god-knows-what-with… but I’m not one of them. Firstly, it’s illegal, as it’s swiping things to be collected for the council and not strictly like those ‘Please Take – Free’ signed goods. I also know the kind of rubbish I put out and I sincerely doubt that there’s that much treasure in the trash to be found. I also already have too many things like bookcases and filing cabinets filling my home, and if I get another recliner for reading in, it’s going to be like this Not The Nine O’Clock News skit but with Poäng chairs.
Today I put out on my lawn:
* A broken chair (irreparably damaged – if you sit on this chair, you will find yourself rapidly listing to the left and then catapulted onto the floor over the snapped armrest);
* A desk (with no space for legs to tuck under, no drawer on the right-hand side and a few scratches on top);
* A broken drawer, from the previously-mentioned desk and
* A red mattress from a futon that kind of exploded a year or so ago. The mattress itself has stuffing coming out (the kitten decided it would be a great scratching post / hidey-hole from all the other cats).
This evening, I discovered only:
* A broken drawer.
Down the road, however, is a long drag mark on the road from… the desk? I think. There’s also a suspiciously familiar-looking mattress on someone else’s lawn, tucked behind a broken bookcase. There’s a little stuffing left behind from the mattress. The chair could have just been wheeled along quite fine, but I live on a hill, so I hope that some local children didn’t decide to take it for a ride.
Last year I put out another (cat-ruined) mattress and it disappeared for a day and then suddenly reappeared on my lawn – they must have realised why it wasn’t wanted and decided to drag it back. Why anyone would want bits of broken futon, however, is beyond me.
Tomorrow I’m putting out the broken filing cabinet. I’m wondering if I should alert the council, just so they actually have a collecting job to do in a few days time, rather than driving around empty streets with scuff-marks on all the verges and neighbours hurriedly wedging in an abandoned refrigerator into their back yards.