someone else’s responsibility

Outside is all rubbish. Literally. It’s the first thing
I see when I open my front door. A nook, directly
opposite, where some down my lane leave their
trash to make easier its increasingly partial
collection. For years I’ve had a dustbin there and,
when I was well and able, I’d clear up the odd
mess happily, whoever’s crap it was. Now, every
week I wonder at both the efforts of too few to
contain and protect theirs from the local wildlife
and the seeming inability of those who are paid, to
completely collect even all the bags that are intact
– even on the weeks when no one’s fly-tipped. So,
there’s always soggy, disintegrating blankets, a bit
of ripped tarpaulin and at least one lonely black bag,
split and spilling its non-recyclable plastic, wasted
food, broken glass, stuff that could’ve, should have
been recycled and wafting around. And, naturally,
some dog shit. In a bag.

No one cares to clear it up, not even the refuse men,
anymore. Refuse: now, there’s an irony… It looks like
people just want it out of the house and think that
past the doorstep is someone else’s responsibility.
I don’t know if it is or not since the contract changed.
The dustmen certainly don’t seem to think it’s theirs,
anyhow (I’m lucky if they put my lid back on) and no
one down my way seems fussed enough to clean it
up, even occasionally.

And it makes me sad and irritable. Not just because
it looks cheap, neglected, dirty and chaotic and
because I’d prefer my surroundings to be beautiful,
clear and clean and cared-for spaces – tidy house;
tidy mind, so to speak – but because it feels like some
depressing, neoliberal metaphor…

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