Tag Archives: black bin

Back Black Bin Back My Life 06 JUN 2015

Well that was a surprising turn of events. Two garbage collection days ago my municipal black wheelie bin disappeared, prompting me to note it under a blog post going by a title directly influenced by a Ben Affleck directed movie.

Then on Thursday, Chantelle pulled up the driveway and hooted for me to come outside. Excitedly she told me that as she was driving home, she spotted two black bins lying in the front of someone’s yard and one of those bins looked a lot like ours – and now I need to quickly drop everything and come along with her to verify. So in I hopped, we drove down the street and around a corner to number 29 Whittle street, and sure enough, there was our bin, the telltale scratches and faded number immediately identifying it.

(Chantelle also cleverly figured out the owners of the other bin, matching up the initials as belonging to the complex across the road from us)

our black bin lounging behind the gate of 29 whittle street - guarded by a dog

However, both bins were behind a secured driveway gate, and with one big and one small dog taking decided interest in my presence so close to their gate, I beat a retreat. No doorbell, the neighbour didn’t have contact details from them, the security company noticeboard a sham, I opted to instead approach the owners of number 29 later that evening once they had returned from work in order to try and secure the release of my bin.

(My theory is that the bins simply got moved to the area either by the wind, construction workers or vagrants on bin day, and this person then simply gathered them in for safekeeping, but Chantelle is more on the path of them nicking them – which doesn’t make sense to me because if they were indeed nicked, why would they be lying in the front of the yard as if they needed to be seen?)

Anyway, I went back to work whilst Chantelle did a good Samaritan thing and went over to the other bin owner to inform them that their bin had been spotted. However, patience isn’t particularly strong with this lot it would seem, because a few minutes later, Chantelle learned that both bins had now been retrieved by this very angry bin owner who had roped in number 29’s neighbour to attract the attention of the dogs while he hopped over the gate and threw the bins back over.

Problem solved I guess.

So my bin is safely back home, and the owner of house number 29 Whittle Street must be scratching his head as to how two big black bins mysteriously disappeared from his yard, despite his doggy protection system!

Gone Black Bin Gone My Life 28 MAY 2015

Sigh. I dislike the fact that this game even exists here in South Africa. Every Sunday evening I dutifully place my municipal black wheelie bin out for emptying by the refuse disposal truck the next day, and every Monday evening when I come back home from work, I anxiously scan the complex’s returned pool of bins, hoping to catch a glimpse of my beloved No.5 bin – grasping at the fact that my neighbours’ bins look far prettier and thus more inviting to ‘borrow’ than mine. (A completely made up notion of course, but it works for me.)

Exciting stuff I tell you.

Sadly however, this week my bin was not in the returned pool of bins. I slowly drove around the complex to make sure that it hadn’t just been delivered to someone else by mistake, but sadly no. My black bin is gone (again).

I just hope it isn’t feeling too lonely… wherever it is.


municipal black wheelie bin

City of Cape Town Tracking Black Bins General Nonsense 08 NOV 2014

I was quite pleased to see a press release coming out of the City of Cape Town saying that essentially they were starting to fit all existing 240-litre municipal wheelie bins with identification tags to ensure more efficient service provision and revenue accuracy.

The tags will allow the City to monitor each bin serviced and to identify bins that are lost, stolen, or illegally serviced without being City property (i.e. someone sneakily bought an extra bin for their property from a plastics shop and now puts double the refuse out whilst only paying for a single load.)

Apparently the City services in excess of 800 000 wheelie bins each week, and this service is provided by means of personnel, trucks and wheelie bins at a cost of almost R1 billion per annum. In rendering the service, virtually every public street in the entire municipal area is traversed each week.

Cape Town City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg had the following to say on the matter: “The tagging of bins will allow for the service of each individual bin to be monitored. This will provide the means to improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness in managing labour, vehicles and services because the date, time, and location of each bin lifted will be recorded. This innovative project forms part of our commitment to creating a well-run city”.

Cool, because what that basically means is that we’re getting another large data set to start mining. Truly this is the age of Big Data, which as a software engineer needless to say excites me – however, and this excites me more, the prospect that maybe now my bin will finally stop being stolen is even better. There is nothing more annoying than watching bin pickers strolling around the town pushing bins around when you just know that some hapless bloke is going to arrive home from work that evening to find his municipal bin gone (but not with the wind).


Anyway, the project will be managed by external service provider RAMM Technologies (a company currently under tender by the City and which provides services to several departments in the Utility Services Directorate) and which has been appointed by the Solid Waste Management Department’s Collections and Drop-offs Branch to perform the refuse bin identification exercise. It will see numerous crews, consisting of RAMM contracted staff, moving throughout the city in various suburbs over the next couple of months. These crews will be tagging each individual refuse bin in order to compile a geo-database of all the City’s mobile refuse bins.

For the public to easily identify these crews, RAMM crew members will be required to carry an identification card containing the following information:


Our Municipal Black Wheelie Bin Delivered! My Life 25 OCT 2011

Wow, kudos to the municipality servicing Gordon’s Bay. Our black municipal rubbish bin was stolen last week Tuesday, and after opening a case with the police and alerting the municipality on Wednesday, we were told to wait 14 days for our new replacement wheelie bin – free of charge.

So you can very well imagine my surprise when today a truck rocked up at our gate bearing a load of fresh black rubbish bins on the back. A little bit of paperwork, an updated sticker, and our brand spanking new bin is now ready for duty.

And in only 4 working days.


Now just to break out the paintbrush and paint so as to make sure that no one is going to surreptitiously remove this one!

Carpet Census Bin My Life 20 OCT 2011

Nice post title because it just rolls off the tongue when you say it out aloud, but actually it refers to three completely unrelated points that I’ve just happened to bundle all together because they all take place on the same day.

So let’s start with the carpet then shall we?

After noticing that Jessica is quite willing to stay on her tummy and flail around for longer the harder the surface she finds herself on, we yanked away all the protective cushioning and now let her roll around directly on the lounge carpet. Works pretty well except for the teeny weeny problem that our carpet is dirty. Very, very dirty.

It’s partly the cats fault, partly my disinterest in properly cleaning the bottom of my feet, and mostly because we only really yank the vacuum cleaner out every second month (if that), meaning that in addition to increasing Jessie’s tummy time, her immune system was probably also getting a good boost thanks to all the nasties down there.

Needless to say, we had to rectify the situation, and so we called upon Monty and Cheryl to come through for supper – and just maybe lug their fantastic Kirby vacuum cleaner along with them! ;)

Thankfully they accepted, and in amongst all the wine, tuna wraps, and ice-cream with strawberries, the Kirby proved yet again why it is by far the ultimate carpet cleaning machine! (Seriously, it looks like a brand new carpet, and achieving that with our carpet is an achievement to say the least!)

Anyway, at the same time, we also got added to the official SA stats, courtesy of Census 2011, with the arrival of a designated census worker outside my front gate during the afternoon. Being a little busy with work, I opted to take the form from her and fill it out on my own time before handing it back to her in the evening. So I dutifully did this, in pencil, and must congratulate her on having given me the correct estimate when I asked her how long I could expect this to take – she said 30 minutes and I did it in 30 minutes. (Shamefully, it would seem that everyone else that has done this, has done it in a far shorter period of time, so I’ll just put this done to being more dutiful than the rest then.)

On handing over the census back to the lady in the evening, Chantelle noticed that our black wheelie refuse bin hadn’t been returned yet, and after a cursory scan and chat to the complex maintenance guy, we were forced to assume that it had been pilfered from the herd. So off to the police station for a case number and a phone call to the municipality – 14 days to get a replacement one delivered, and at no cost to us, which is particularly nice to hear. Oh, and for now the rubbish placed in black bags will suffice for collection.

And with that, I have neatly concluded my Tuesday of Carpet Census Bin story, don’t you think?