Wheelie bins


In my area, the city council empties the rubbish bins once a week. We wheel them out to the road; the City of Monash empties them; we wheel them back to our houses and spend the rest of the week filling them up with hotdog packets. Then we repeat the cycle.

My neighbors paint their apartment numbers on their bins. That way they can make sure that each week they wheel out the same bin that they wheeled out the previous week. They have a history with their rubbish bin.

Since I can’t bring myself to feel attached to the space I use to throw out vegetable peels each week, sometimes I just grab the closest bin without a number on it. Last year, I grabbed the one marked ‘2’ by mistake.

Instead of using one of the unmarked bins for the week, the woman in number 2 started asking around the apartment block to see if anybody knew where it’d gone. When nobody did, she phoned the police. Instead of asking her to throw her kitchen scraps into an unmarked bin for the week, the police referred her to the city council.

The city council delivered a new bin. I imagined them setting it down next to the other spare unmarked bin. After a week of use, it would take a forensic examination to distinguish the two.

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