Monday 13 March 2017

Greek garbage

Rubbish in the main town is collected everyday of the year, even Christmas Day.

Down on the waterfront there are big green bins where you throw your rubbish all tied up in a plastic supermarket bag.  The back streets are too narrow to place bins along the way so each household puts its bags outside the door straight onto the road.  The safest way though is to hang them from your door away from cats and stray dogs who rip the plastic bags to pieces.

After a party and with big bags of clanging empy bottles and tin cans I would share the bags out around the neighbour hood or take them down into town.  We didn't want to get a bad name from the rubbish men.   Our reputation was not the best anyway.

Our recycling bins.  Paper, glass and tins are recycled.  You open up the lid and empty your special bag into the bin.  We were given a recycling bag by our grandchildren who were horrified we weren't already collecting the plastic, glass and tin cans.   Our grandchildren had school lessons on recycling and outings to the rubbish bins as part of 'green' education.

Rubbish remover

We place bags of rubbish in a bin out in the yard and then take them up to the big bin on the main road which is emptied about three times a week.  It is the hang-out for stray cats and also the place to drop anything from bundles of prunings to old matresses.  Anything which might be of interest to someone else is placed beside the bin and often disappears before the hour is out.

Until recently rubbish in the old town was collected by cousin Stavros and his donkeys, which were actually mules.  Mules could climb up all the odd irregular steps and squeeze down tight alley-ways.  I would hear Stavros early in the morning calling out to all the housewives as he passed.  He knew us all and would often stop to pass on the gossip he had learnt that morning.

When I first arrived the rubbish was thrown over a bank behind the old town and most of it tumbled down into the sea.  Now and again it was burnt and if the wind was blowing in the wrong direction we were all covered in foul smelling clouds of  smoke.

Then the municipality bought a couple of big  modern rubbish trucks and all the trash was hauled over the far side of the island, miles away from the town,  and burnt.   EU regulations stopped all that.  Now it is compressed and taken  almost daily to somewhere outside of Athens.


  1. When we visited Greece about six years ago. I was distressed that all the donkeys had disappeared. When I finally saw one I was sooo very happy lol
    I'm glad you get rubbish removal everyday. Especially as you cannot flush your paper away. As an Aussie. That was just so very wrong to us lol

    1. Donkeys are very rare now. We have one in a field near us. Mules you do see now and again. They used to do everything from ploughing to carrying heavy supplies. Hydra is the place to see them now.
      Damn forgot about the loo paper! I love have to write an addition, horrible though it is. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. We have to take all ours to some big plastic bin about 2 kms away. It has to be in a black plastic bag; black not blue or red, only black will do.

    1. A chore but a good idea. Rubbish is confined to the 'rubbish place' and hopefully is not strewn around the village. In nz too you can only use officially approved bags.

  3. We have two bins, one is for non-recyclable rubbish. The other one gets all the recycling thrown in together and they sort it out at the other end. It is collected every fortnight at the moment.
    My grouch with recycling is that the symbols are way too small and incomprehensible. Our recycling site is very particular about which they can and cannot take.
    Glass has to be taken to a 'bottle bank' about four miles away.

    It is all a far cry from when a the dustmen used to come once a week, they'd hoist the galvanised metal dustbin up onto their shoulders walk back to the road and empty it out into their dustcart, then return it to the garden...but that was about 60 years ago!

    1. Once again....your rubbish gets collected every fortnight??? I mention below, after two weeks our rubbish would be heaving! I used to bury fish bones but the ground is too hard in summer and it didn't seem to be doing much to the soil.

      My old man's a dustman
      He wears a dustman's hat
      He wears cor blimey trousers
      And he lives in a council flat!

  4. We have gone bin crazy here!
    Black little wheelie household
    Brown big wheelie recycling
    Green huge wheelie garden waste
    Blue plastic box glass
    Blue plastic bag newspapers and magazines,
    Mini food waste wheelie .
    And breathe.
    Admit to not doing food waste, bags for that bin are £2.80 for 15 crazy.
    May all be in vain anyway, apparently council put half to landfill as is cheaper
    Oh bring in a petition to bring back donkeys in the old town.
    What are the bags of water tied to Windows railings in the summer for?

    1. Do they give you the bins or do you have to buy them? I bet you get a fine if you get all those bins mixed up......and then it all goes into the landfill! lol
      Bags of water tied to the windows. The mind boggles. I really have never seen them. Can't imagine what that is all about. But I shall ask my greek sis in law who knows everything which goes on in the town

    2. Given the bins. £50 fine if rubbish in wrong ones!.
      They do check!.

  5. Very interesting to hear what you have to do with the rubbish. In Morocco they throw little black plastic bags of it into the streets in the old cities and then men with carts come along and collect it but a lot just gets left in the streets and the cats rip them all open in any case and scavange. Nothing seems to get cleared up after the men have gone. It is a very rubbish ridden country. Before we were given wheelie bins here the plastic sacks we put out were attacked by the crows so rubbish would be strewn all down the roads. The wheelie bins make it much better for us. The collections are fortnightly but it seems to work ok although a lot of people grumble that we don't get weekly collections anymore. We do some recycling but as I know it all gets mixed up in the end I don't waste too much time worrying about it. Our county was going to have an incinerator for rubbish which seemed like an excellent idea but then lots of people protested and marched against it because it was going to damage the environment. I could not understand their logic. Many millions of £s were wasted in the build up to it. That's life I suppose. Millions mean nothing these days.

    1. Fortnightly collections....they would be screaming here. I put a lot on the compost but fish bones and used toilet paper would be rather unsavoury after two weeks. Two days in summer heat and smells are disgusting.

    2. If you lift the lid of the wheelie bin the smell can be pretty bad!