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4:43pm on Friday, 20th November, 2009:



Today, the bin men come round our way. The kind of things you put out for recycling depend on what week it is: this week was a "paper and cloth week", so we put out our old newspapers, cardboard and so on like we usually do. However, because my wife had a cupboard-emptying session in readiness for imagined Christmas gifts, we also had some cloth. In fact, as my wife is not one to do anything by halves, we had three bags of cloth including one that was 75% old duvet. We put them out last night to be taken away early today.

Hmm, they were taken away alright.

It seems that old cloth fetches a good price on the open market. Someone went driving around before the bin men arrived, raiding any bags that had old clothes in them. They took two of ours, and tore open the duvet one to take out the clothes from there (leaving the duvet behind). They weren't satisfied with all of what they found, though, as they tossed some of it out. It wasn't just us, either: across the road, there was a similar mess of old clothing strewn around that had not apparently met the stringent quality demanded of the people who took it. The same story was repeated as I took my daughter to school: I passed piles of clothes and fabric just lying by the roadside.

I wouldn't mind if the people who took it were in need of clothes, but I'm guessing they were more in desire of money. If cloth does indeed command a decent price to a recycler, then I'd rather the profit went towards supplementing local taxes than towards lining the pockets of opportunists. I'm pretty sure there are laws against what they did, too.

Oh well, among the clothes they threw out was an odd sock, so at least they're going to be annoyed at missing it.

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).