We are always looking for a fight.
When the Irish county councils introduced the concept of the wheelie bin we opposed them tooth and nail.
How would people manage them? Weren’t we grand with the regular bins? Why did we need to change? How would people living in flats (apartments) manage? What about people living in terraced houses that would have to wheel the monstrosities through their living rooms on collection day? Sure, who would generate enough rubbish to fill them anyway? They would take up too much space on the footpath (sidewalk) and force pedestrians onto the road.
Strongly worded letters were written to the papers. People got their 15 minutes of fame on radio. (Well, 15 seconds perhaps.) Politicians were interviewed on television and improved their chances of being re-elected. It is an ill wind that does not blow some good. The usual Rent-a-Crowd made placards and protested publicly. They were busy people dividing their time between wheelie-bin protests and cellular-phone mast installation protests. (Ironically, the cellphones helped them coordinate their efforts. They undoubtedly complained when the service was less than perfect.)
How things change! Now many people generate sufficient rubbish to fill two or three wheelie bins. Where is it all coming from? Are we buying more stuff? Are we now leading members of the consumer society? Or is it the successful laws in place are forcing us to responsibly dispose of our waste? Unsightly rubbish is conspicuous by its absence in villages, towns and the Irish countryside.
The dumps are better managed, too. It is possible to drive by a dump and not notice an offensive smell. Machines now level the waste and cover it with layers of earth.
Private companies entered the rubbish disposal business more than two decades ago. That was another phenomenon people took issue with. Nowadays customers are glad of the excellent service provided by competing companies. People change their minds when they view the big picture and stop listening to scaremongers. Of course, the media give the opponents more than a fair share of coverage because airtime and pages have to be filled. People would really be better off if they switched off the TV, quit purchasing the tabloids and went for a walk.
If you do not have sufficient rubbish to dispose of on a regular basis, you can purchase a disposal company bag. When it is full, simply leave it out on collection day and it will mysteriously disappear. On the other hand, if you have a shed to clear out, you can have a company place a skip (dumpster) at your premises for a reasonable fee. (Please do not discard that Morris Minor engine you kept all those years. There are people trolling Done Deal for such items. They will even pay you for it.)
It has long been a tradition for some city and town dwellers to take a leisurely Sunday drive in the countryside. They meander along viewing the scenery, seemingly oblivious to people who have to go about their business in a timely manner. (Yes, though it may be Sunday, farmers, shop-keepers, gas station employees, restaurant and bar staff, airport workers, security staff and many others must get to their places of employment.) They may visit places of interest along the way. Perhaps drop into a bar / restaurant for lunch. Before the day is done they may stop for a while at a scenic area with pleasant views of mountains, sea, lakes, green fields, bucolic rolling hills, angry rivers and babbling brooks. In extreme cases, they may be inspired to compose poetry. As the day draws to a close, they will prepare to depart for home. A plastic bag will be removed furtively from the boot (trunk) and thrown unceremoniously over a cliff / into a river / behind a dry stone wall.
People who would report such activity would once upon a time be considered spies, who should find more productive ways to fill their time. Now they are viewed as civic-minded. There is much more pride in the appearance of the countryside these days.
Yes, indeed, how things change.