"Just so you know, I've bunged the old toilet seat in the bin."
Bloody hell, you'd think he'd have learned by now wouldn't you! It's been sixteen months since Mr A's bin-filling activities have been under close surveillance. However the King of Declutter has been let off for good behaviour in recent months thanks to a reduced propensity for landfilling all and sundry. Things are normally so good these days that Bin-watch Status in the Almost Average household has been reduced from Severe to Low.
Well it looks like I've got to be on my guard again.
You see Mr A took the trouble to replace our broken wooden loo seat last week and as he said - only in passing - that he'd bunged the old one in the rubbish bin.
At least he had the decency to warn me even if I don't take things lightly when it comes to landfilling our rubbish. He hadn't checked the recycling options so I thought I should and consequently researched the council's website. I couldn't find any information so I decided to call the Waste Department, a far cry from when we last changed our loo seats four years ago when I wouldn't have given it a second thought.
A lady answered.
"Can you recycle wooden loo seats?" I asked.
"Yes you can at the HWRC" she replied. "Just put it in the wood skip."
"Even if it's got metal fittings still attached?" I probed a little further, hardly believing my luck.
"Hang on - I'll just put you through to Dan. He'll confirm matters."
A brief moment of silence filled the phone line as I was put on hold to talk to the Strategy and Policy Manager, the man in charge of last year's zero waste week and with whom I have since given a joint presentation and enjoyed several meetings about waste reducing initiatives.
You get the picture! I wasn't sure whether I should be talking toilet seat strategy with the man in charge, especially when risking my professional dignity!
Why do I always ask more questions? Why didn't I just accept "Yes" as the answer. How embarrassing was this conversation going to be? Feeling a bit of a prude, I wondered whether I should hang up.
But it was too late, Dan quickly answered and confirmed the positive news before I rapidly changed the subject to a less personal and more tasteful matter, hoping that this conversation would never ever come back to bite me on the bum, so to speak.
And on the topic of changing the subject....(notice how I swiftly did that)....I have some great news.
While I was conducting my intensive research, not only did I find out that we can recycle our old wooden loo seats in Bury St Edmunds' recycling centre (even with their metal fittings), but I also discovered the recycling centre was giving away free soil improver.
So with offers of free compost on the agenda, we quickly headed off to the recycling centre with our toilet seat and took a couple of garden tubs to fill up with some of the advertised soil improver.
And who better to fill 'em up than Mr A. Yes the perfect opportunity to dig himself out of the hole he'd created with his rubbish antics, especially as we've used up all the compost that we've made in our own bins at home.
Ah revenge is so sweet....and definitely far sweeter than the smell of that compost.
How it ponged!
Yet despite its smell it will be good for the rest of the veggies that I'm planning on planting this week.
Meanwhile, it's back to Severe Bin-watch status. And if he's not careful, that Mr A will be getting more than a compost digging session at the recycling centre. I might have to go as far as threaten him with his very own compost loo in the garden. Never mind recycling the toilet seat!
With measures like that I'm sure he won't be automatically feeding the bin with any more loo seats or much else for that matter.
But we'll just have to wait and see.... because Mr A I'm now watching your every move - well almost!
The free soil improver offer is to promote Compost Awareness Week, which is jointly organised by WRAP and Organics Recycling (formerly known as The Compost Association) to encourage the use of compost for growing fruit and vegetables at home. Over the next seven days a whole host of events are taking place across the UK, including opportunities to purchase a low-cost compost bin.
If you live in the St Edmundsbury area, the soil improver will also be available at the HWRC at Rougham Hill on 9th and 10th May. Please remember to take along your own bags and containers.
However as I've aready discovered, composting at home is remarkably easy. We've had a compost bin for over ten years and have been amazed by the results that even novices like us can achieve.
So the good news is as part of Compost Awareness Week, Suffolk residents have the opportunity to buy Compost Converters for just £12 (+£5 delivery) available from Recycle Now. (Just remember to quote the reference SHOE9 when ordering). If you live outside Suffolk, please check with your own council for details of local offers, as you too might be in luck. Further advice can be found at Recycle Now's Home Composting website.