Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Trash is cash here in Ireland. If you want to make some big bucks privatize garbage (rubbish) collection. When we moved here there seemed to be only one company monopolizing the rubbish cash cow…Green Star which is inexplicably all done up in purple. It was really confusing to me at first and I'm sure we were totally fleeced because we didn't understand the logistics of it. Everyone said to get a wheelie bin but we didn't really know what that meant or how to do it. Sounds silly now but it was all so new!

In Texas you pay the city to take your garbage away and with that they provide you with a really big wheelie bin (garbage can) and a blue plastic recycling box for all your bottles, cans and paper. The fee is on your general utilities bill and you barely even notice it at all….or at least I didn't. When I was growing up in East Texas you could drive yourself out to the dump and get rid of your trash. You would just throw all the black Hefty bags right in the back of the pickup and be on your way. We used to ride back there in the bed of the truck to keep it from blowing around and I'm sure kids still do.

Here, if you don't have a contract that includes a wheelie bin you have to buy these purple sacks from the 'news agent' for 6 euro a pop and cram all your crap in. And then you have to buy a clear one of these for recycling at around 4 euro. Our first week here we had 4 purple sacks out on the path come trash day. One of our neighbors asked how we could have so much rubbish and said we must be rich to be able to afford it. I know now that I would think the same thing. 24 euro a week for Greenstar rubbish sacks adds up to a lot of green….hey maybe that explains the name.

Now might be the appropriate time to mention the litter. It is a problem here and it doesn't take a genius to discover why…it is free to ditch your shite. Even better if you can cram it into someone's wheelie bin on rubbish day, or just fill up black bags and leave them next to someone's purple ones and maybe they'll get picked up too. Not a chance….mice will though.

When the mice showed their appreciation for our plastic rubbish bags we got wise. By that time, a couple of new companies came onto the scene with competitive pricing. One of them is called Eurowaste, which always makes me chuckle and to which the title of this post eludes, and another is Access. We chose the latter and they delivered one big black bin for our rubbish and one big green one for the recycling. No glass though, we still secret all our wine bottles away in a plastic tub and Paul takes them to the bottle bank when it gets too embarrassing.

The lovely people at Access come every Wednesday and happily remove our refuse and recycling to someplace unknown. Thank goodness for them. I heard that all the recycling from Europe is actually dumped in a landfill in China and not recycled at all but I hope that isn't true. I haven't been washing out all those shampoo and yogurt containers for nothing. And it does make me feel a bit sad when I think of the dump days and all that used up junk buried underground all over the world.

Just think of all that money. Greenstar thanks you.

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