In the run-up to the 2012 olympics, Greenwich Council told us our bins would be emptied in the middle of the night for the duration so their dustcarts could be well clear by the time spectators started arriving for the equestrian events in the park. They also supplied special Olympic bin bags to use instead of wheelie bins, so the carts wouldn’t have to use their mechanical lifts and noise could be kept to a minimum. For the binmen, it was unsociable hours, with more physical work, but the money was good. For residents, it was all bad news: not only would their streets be closed to traffic most days, but the station would be “exit-only” during peak hours…
I am a binman for the council
And I walk the back roads,
Searchin’ in the dark for another bag to load.
I hear we mustn’t use our bin lifts,
I hear you will not like their whine,
And the SE10 binman must be gone by nine.
You can’t get into Greenwich station;
Hippophiles are constrained
And, if they know our carts are out,
Won’t ever leave their trains.
And you need us more than want us,
And you don’t want us at this time;
But the SE10 binman is on good overtime…
(with apologies to Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell)