Making my own Worthing recycling mountain – exploring the issue of bins being full after Christmas

When I was at school, I remember learning about food mountains in geography lessons – where a surplus of food had been produced that wasn’t needed.

While I don’t have a glut of butter or cheese in my fridge (that was never going to happen during the festive season, where dairy products were consumed for breakfast, lunch and dinner with reckless abandon), I did create a surplus mountain of my own.

The lesser-known Worthing recycling mountain was created in my kitchen over the 2021 festive period – the product of over-packaged children’s toys, a plethora of wrapping paper and, perhaps most scarily, a fair few empty bottles of wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages – a visual and sobering reminder of the Christmas excesses we very much enjoyed!

With bin-collection days pushed back by the bank holidays, we had to go almost three weeks without a recycling collection. Both of our blue-lidded recycling bins filled up quickly after the kids had opened all their Christmas presents. I did consider sending them into the bins for a literal deep dive to squash down as much recycling as possible, but wondered if this bordered on child abuse. Instead, I created my very own noisy trip hazard, that sent bottles flying across the kitchen every time I tried and failed to step over it to get to the back door.

This was how many recycling trucks were needed to take away Katherine's mountain. Picture: Worthing Borough Council

There was also two cardboard boxes full of recycling shoved in the garage, and a drop off in a kindly neighbour’s empty bin (first, I have no idea how they managed to have an empty bin, and secondly, I promise it was authorised, despite my son saying ‘quick, run away mummy, before they see us!’).

So, it was with more excitement than necessary that pick-up day rolled around and the recycling truck rolled into our road. I practically did a jump for joy once that messy mound had been removed from my kitchen. The only problem being this now gives me time to focus on the messes elsewhere in the house, starting with the toy shop formerly known as the lounge. Really should start putting some of those presents away...

But I don’t want to peak too soon in 2022, so for now I’ll just enjoy the tidy corner. It’s the little victories, right?!