Oh, The Shame…

My name is Greenwich Phantom and I am a trash-o-holic.

It all started innocently enough. I had a Green Bin and a Blue Bin and bought a supply of black bags. I put the organic stuff in the Green Bin. I put the recycling in the Blue Bin and the Bad, Evil Stuff in the black bag. I was a Good Phantom. Honest.

But then it started. I didn’t notice at first, but then came The Smell. I looked in the bottom of my blue top bin in search of the source of said whiff, and there it was – a single, super-dooper-cost-a-packet Bio-Groove-Deluxe-O-Matic bag full of potato peelings and cabbage leaves, sitting forlornly cooking in its own heat long after all the other, good little bags, had been collected. I had been missed out.

So I called the council. I had to give my address and house number. Ah yes. They have us all on file. And the answer? My innocent-looking little bag was, according to their records,


Oh My God. What on earth had I done? Had I deposited nuclear waste into the food chain? Secretly slipped a dead dog into my bin? Cleaned it out with Cilit Bang?

No. My super-duper bio-groove-deluxe-o-matic liner was merely the wrong kind of bag.

I had stupidly seen the words “bio” and “degradable” and assumed that biodegradable was good. I should have chosen “compostable.” The difference? That would be an ecumenical matter.

Of course, I did know about the compostable thing and I’ve always made an effort to get the right bags (I just can’t face putting slimy food remains directly in the bin and there’s only so much you can wrap in old copies of Greenwich Time.) But I blew it. One second’s loss of concentration in Sainsbury’s (I long ago gave up trying to buy any from the council) can lead to misery and rejection. My super-duper-bio-groove-deluxe-O-matic bags aren’t even black so the council won’t take them as non-recyclable bags.

Oh why didn’t I see it? Why didn’t I notice before I went on the Council blacklist (which must be gigantic by now) as being The Evil Household That Doesn’t Recycle? The villainous Phantom determined to CONTAMINATE the world because I just don’t care if we all go to hell in a handcart…

I should have noticed the second I got the bag out of the little green bin and it wasn’t dripping with goo (That’s the real difference between compostable and bio-degradable, btw – ‘compostable’ is little better at keeping-in slime than a string bag…) Now I have the indignity of an uncollected bin and I will be marked for life. How will I bear the shame?

Folks. Learn from one who has been there. Shop wisely for your compostables. You never know who’s watching…

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