Recycling – why do they make it so hard to be virtuous?

Paint  is nasty stuff. It’s okay on your walls but when you’ve done the decorating and there’s still a third of the tin left what do you do?

You shove it in the shed/back of the garage/under the stairs and forget about it? A few weeks ago David excavated a virtual paint pot mountain which we transferred into the back of the car and took to the tip feeling smug and virtuous in the way that you do when you’ve had a good clear out – I don’t why we feel that way, after all we are only moving our rubbish from one place to another place.

The smug feeling didn’t last. They wouldn’t take it.  Apparently, you have to take paint to another recycling depot that specialises in paint.

And you can only go on Thursdays.

And only between 2 and 3 pm.

And only once you’ve been given an appointment!

So they gave me a number to call. No-one answered. So I rang another number, they sent me to a website and told me to download a form.

Fill it in, then print it off TWICE – it had 5 pages! Whatever happened to  ‘Before you print off this email please consider the environment’? 

In addition to this you had to tick a box at the bottom of every one of the 5 pages promising that you had actually read that page – just a bit irritating. Then submit the form online, print it twice, keep one to bring with your paint pots at the appointed hour AND send the second print out in the post!!!

In order to get an appointment you had to list on the said form all the items you were going to bring. So that was another half an hour in the garage where the mountain had come to rest after the abortive trip to the tip.

What a palaver! No wonder people just drive out into the countryside and tip stuff behind hedges.  I would never have believed that wanting to dispose of something correctly would be so difficult.

I suppose the benefit of a complicated system is that it might make you think twice about redecorating and accumulating waste in the first place – it might have a deterrent effect. And the downside of an easy system for getting rid of your waste is that you might not really care very much how much rubbish you create.

I know it’s a weakness but I can’t help but see the sermon illustration in all this: I’m very glad God doesn’t take the same approach with me when I realise I’ve made a mess and need to be cleaned up and forgiven. What if I had to fill out a form in triplicate, list all my sins and book an appointment… (wait a minute, I think the pre-reformation Catholics  got quite close to such a system). God chose a route to forgiveness that was easy for me but hard for him.


2 thoughts on “Recycling – why do they make it so hard to be virtuous?

Add yours

  1. We put out glut of tins on freegle and had quite a bit of interest. It seems landlords just chuck it all together, mix it up and slap it on. It’s good to know its still bring used too. Worth a go rather then trekking to tip it away.

  2. We have a full tin of paint to get rid of. Having spent ages deciding on the colours for the hall, stairs and landing we got sidetracked onto other projects (including getting better) which took enough time for my wife to decide she didn’t like one of the colours we’d chosen. However we’d already bought the paint and one of the colours has been discontinued so we can’t take it back for a refund.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: