Monday, September 12, 2011

Mr Caddy Man comes to Cardiff.

Mr Caddy Man begins sitting along kerbsides from today in Cardiff. Mr Caddy Man is short, fat and brown. When he is happy his handle is erect and you can't see what treasures lurk below his lid. When Mr Caddy Man is sad his handle droops down and you can flip his lid and feast your delights on his innards.

Click this link to learn all about Mr Caddy Man.

Recycling and waste collection in Cardiff is changing from today. The big idea is to increase the volume of recycling by moving the general waste collection from weekly to fortnightly. The council thinks that if the weekly general waste collection is reduced from weekly to fortnightly that residents will be encouraged to recycle more of their household waste. What is new is the kerbside food caddy - which has the promotional name of Mr Caddy Man. This is a new plastic container given free to residents by our council and my mate over on Grumpy Dragon in deepest Norfolk will be delighted to learn that it has the Welsh Dragon icon printed on the lid.

Under the new system from today, every week there will be a collection of kitchen food waste (Mr Caddy Man) and green recycling bags. On alternate weeks there will be a collection of either the black general household or the green garden waste wheelie bin. This means that there will be 3 separate lorry teams passing my home every week.

Under the old system both the black general household and the green garden waste wheelie bins were collected. The kitchen food waste was deposited into the garden bin. There was a fortnightly collection of recycling bags. This meant that there were 5 separate lorry teams passing my home every fortnight.

Now let's look at the maths. The old system saw 5 lorries a fortnight and the new system 6 lorries a fortnight. That is a 20% increase in collection costs for the same volume of rubbish. This seems very expensive to encourage some muppets to recycle more of their household waste. Then add in the cost of all those kerbside food caddies. This seems like madness to me that the council thinks they will encourage residents to recycle more because the black general waste bins will have their collections halved. They must think that the muppets would rather dump their waste into green recycling bags rather than wait a extra week half the time for it to disappear from the black wheelie bin.

Some residents might worry that they will not be able to remember whether it is a black or green wheelie bin week. The answer is simple, the forgetful can sign up to the "Tidy Text" service by texting "Tidy" and your house number and postcode to 60066. You will receive a weekly text reminding you whether to present garden or general waste. Who thought of this text number? 60066 is very close to 666 - the number of the devil, not the dragon!

This whole change to recycling and waste collections has been heavily promoted. There are billboards everywhere advertising the change. Every household has had a detailed information booklet. What makes me laugh is the radio advertising. There are 2 separate adverts, not played together. One is in English but the other is in Welsh. I can't speak Welsh and very few people in Cardiff actually can. But you take language in subliminally and hearing the Welsh language advert I can guess it is about Mr Caddy Man and his little box!

So we have had our first collection under the new system today and I can spot one problem. Today the wind is howling and Mr Caddy Man is okay sat on the kerbside when he is full. Trouble is when he is emptied because Mr Caddy Man is a rather light plastic fellow with very little weight on his belly. The wind howls and Mr Caddy Man is blown down the road like sheets of newspaper down on the farm.

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