Rubbish is an important issue on Kilimanjaro. It is a “clean mountain” unlike some other high peaks in the world, which are covered in cast off litter. Kilimanjaro is a National Park and entrance into it is carefully regulated with lots of rules. Everything, except food and fuel – you have to take your own fuel as you are not allowed to burn wood or trees – is weighed before you are permitted through the park gates. This is partly to ensure that porters are not too heavily laden, and also ensures that nothing is left behind on the mountain. When the group returns back to the gate, the packs will be weighed once again, and if there is any discrepancy, the tour company will be fined. The fines are quite hefty, which means that very little gets left behind on the mountain.
I am very happy to be climbing somewhere with such a fine green reputation.
Rubbish is quite a big issue at home too. Canterbury City Council have now issued us with six different bins, each with a separate purpose. When we had only one or two bins, it was on occasions difficult to fit everything in, especially around Christmas when all the family were here and there was lots of packaging to dispose of. I would quite regularly have to climb into the bin to trample everything down to make enough space to put more in. I only occasionally have to do that nowadays – mostly in the gardening season, when there are lots of hedge cuttings and branches to tamp down. The back of our house is rather like “Bin City”. We have one bin for non-recyclables, one for garden rubbish, one for papers/cardboard, one for tins/glass/plastic, and two of different sizes for food refuse. We can, at least, fit all of the bins into our garden: others are not so lucky. The result of this is that walking down the streets can be extremely difficult and nigh impossible for wheel-chair users and those pushing prams. I am not sure that there is any easy answer to this. Different countries and areas have different systems, each of which has its pros and cons.
Jae’s boys were in my house when I said that I was going to blog about rubbish, and that I might rise to the “Calendar Girls” challenge put out by Jean in the blog of 14th May, and followed up by Gerda on the 26th of May, by posing naked in a bin. The boys were very shocked at the idea and said they didn’t want to be anywhere near at the time: what if someone passed by and saw me? It was only after some discussion that we realised that the boys thought I intended to pose in a bin in the front garden on the street! As if! They calmed down a bit when I assured them it would be in the back garden and hopefully witnessed by no-one save the photographer. Stew and I thought it best to get on with the job while the boys were out in any event: I don’t know what they will think of the result!
Note from Jae: I don’t care what the boys think Ma – I’m mega proud. You look amazing!
(PS Maybe I’ll show them Calendar Girls one day and they’ll at least have a clue what we’re talking about)