Apart from indulging my sub-geek wireless broadband passions this week I have been mostly throwing away paper. I’ve collected a lot of it over the past five years. It’s not a particularly exciting hobby I must admit but it’s one I seem to have developed quite a knack for.

I’ve got bills, xmas wrapping paper, pizza delivery offers, letters from MPs, court summons, more bills, offers for broadband, dollymaids (!), chicken and chips for 99 pence, books, cds, dvds, squash club membership, even more bills and a disturbing number of unopened erroneous tax demands, car hire agreements, ticket stubs for trains, planes and UGC cinemas and did I mention bills?

The above is not an exhaustive list but I’ll spare you and myself the undoubted pleasure of listing every single item of paper I’ve collected in the past half decade as I’m sure that that much excitment on a Friday the 13th could only lead to some sort of horrific yawning accident occuring. Suffice to say that there was a good 75kg of paper collected in the pile I have finally decided to build, of stuff I could throw away. That’s a small tree’s worth.

Feeling the need to give back to the environment that which had been torn out of it so needlesly in the first place I embarked on a well-intentioned quest to find a green and pleasant way to get rid of the paper. Alas, so far, in vain. There’s a number of paper recycling skips dotted about the 2nd city and they’re great for all the pizza and computer hardware boxes that I’ve also built up an healthy collection of. However, I’ve no intention of fueling my nascent paranoia by dumping my own body weight of paper, with personal details like how much I spend on pizza, what AOL rip me off for each month and vital medical details like how much I weigh, for evildoers to get their hands on.

So I figure on calling up the Council and finding a safe and secure method of disposing of my tree-load … what a load of council-tax wasting rubbish that idea was. There’s a phone number you can call, it’s listed in the stack of directories I’ve got serving as speaker stands but it yeilds nothing and no one. In frustration I called up Friends of the Earth and a very pleasant woman told me that Birmingham City Council has one of the worst records for recyling of any major city in Europe. She went on to tell me that Warwickshire County Council has one of the better ones and suggested a drive to warwickshire in order to use their abundant facilities.

There’s a word beginning with ‘i’ , with an ‘o’ in the middle and ending with ‘y’ which best describes having to pump petrol fumes into the air while driving into deepest Warwickshire for the sake of the environment of Birmingham — ‘i d i o c y’.

[UPDATE: 28/9/05 – Pat Bishop very kindly left a comment with a link to www.brumcan.co.uk which had I known about would have saved the world from the need for this blog entry!]

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