For people across the UK Wednesday means the Mid Week Lottery draw, but for those lucky enough to live in the right postcode it can also mean it’s time for their local council’s exciting new game of “Bin Day Roulette”.
While a traditional roulette wheel is divided into 37 or 38 black and red numbered pockets, Bin Day Roulette simplifies matters by using black and green bins and recycling boxes, the collection of which is spread over 52 weeks of the year. Many house holders have the opportunity to enter this game of chance by simply placing a bet at the start of the year, which is called “Council Tax”. Once you have placed your bet, you will be issued with a Bingo style card showing each week of the year marked as black or green, indicating that the appropriately coloured bin should be placed outside of your house on the appointed day if you want to be a winner and have the contents of the bin collected by the Croupier, or “Bin Man” as he is known.
This may seem like a foolproof system, but as Terry from Gamblers Anonymous explained, people are often lured into seemingly foolproof Roulette systems. “It may look straight forward at first, what could go wrong? You get your first few collections and it’s sweet, the rubbish goes rolling out. But then you go on holiday and lose track of the collection weeks, or maybe your bin day is a Monday and there’s a bank holiday. Suddenly you’ve missed a week of green boxes and the bottles and paper are stacking up, or a week of black and the flies are buzzing round the black bin. You kid yourself and try to sneak some cardboard into the black box, but the bin men refuse to collect it and leave you a warning through the letter box”.
Terry broke down as he spoke movingly of his own attempt to escape the spiral of rubbish that he entered. “In the end I was hiding recyclables in the black bin, hoping the wife wouldn’t notice, but the Council sent me a stiffly worded letter and I was worried that they might go after the kids. Then they put the screws on me saying that cardboard could no longer go in the green bin and had to go in the black box! It just wouldn’t fit and they stuck a charge on me for spilling litter on the street! At one point I was considering fly tipping, but then G.A. helped me get my life back on track and directed me to the local tip”.
"If there is one lesson I learnt it’s to take it one week at a time. That and burn all the flammable stuff in the garden.” said Terry.