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A load of Italian rubbish!

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  • A load of Italian rubbish!

    This is not obligatory reading!!!!

    Shortly after moving into my small apartment in a condo in the quaint town of Pescantina, Italy, my company received a phone call from the condo administrator, who happens to be one of my neighbours who I rarely see, telling the company to inform the new English tenant to make sure he removes his rubbish from his apartment on a daily basis in the prescribed manner of the eco friendly local waste collection and disposal system. Naturally, not being a person to ruffle feathers I sought advice on just how I was supposed to dispose of my rubbish.

    I gleaned from early morning inspections of the street that rubbish here has to be presorted and disposed in six major categories which are; wet and dry organic, green (eg garden) waste, plastic bottles, glass and tins, newspapers and carton and finally everything left over that is dry.

    I noticed that a couple of days in the week folks left large green rectangular buckets outside the house, sometime with the owner's name scrawled on - and I do mean scrawled! Other days bags of dry refuse seemed to appear and disappear, whilst less frequently stacks of carton and newspapers also came and went.

    Totally bemused by the situation I asked a friend at work to help me out by seeking out info on the system from the local municipal offices. Unfortunately they were closed the month of August for holidays so I missed my chance!

    I took to bundling up assorted types of rubbish, segregated of course, and carrying the less odourous ones around in my car boot whilst keeping a watchful eye out for legitimate places to dump them, usually in specifically designated skips in the larger towns like Verona but often dropping them off alongside distant neighbour's rubbish in the early hours as I was on my way to work. The more obnoxious organic stuff I took to work to incorporate with the factory waste.

    Finally last week I got a bead on the whole issue after a trip down to the municipal office again with another factory friend Stephano, a wizard in carving through Italian beaurocracy, to ask about the collection system.

    Bear with me now because what happened next takes a little explaining....

    After asking the question I was told that I first had to be registered in the local refuse collection system. This involved sending a policeman around to my house in the evening to confirmed I lived there! He duly came and went....

    Next I had to wait 3 days to get the confirmation registered at the municipal office.

    After calling around there again with Stefano for the green light we were sent to another office to sign me up to receive collection vehicles to my door - I almost quipped that I wanted to get rid of rubbish, not receive more - but decided to hold my tongue!

    After filling in three separate forms the lady checking them took down a load more details such as who I shared my abode with, no comment! along with copies of my passport and my rental agreement and she then asked for a plan of the building and its exact geographical location! This time I did quip to Stefano 'can I borrow your 'Tom-Tom navigator to get bloody GPS cordinates' The lady frowned! Bear in mind here that I live in a 20 ft by 20 ft room with a toilet attached and not a darn mansion! Anyway, to get the plan we had to take a trip to the office of the real estate agent who leased my property on behalf of the owner and pick up a copy.

    Back to the lady who then asked for details of the previous tenant so he or she could be removed from the existing register. Thirty mins to locate the condo administrator whilst we took a coffee sorted that out and then we were back to the lady again.I thought by now we should have been at least on first name terms but again refrained from trying my luck for fear of being rejected!

    With the forms filled in and stamped we were sent next door to another branch of the municipal offices and pointed in the general direction of the 'eco office' - don't ask me for the full name in Italian because it went on for ever! A pleasant gentleman took my papers and asked if we could wait for a moment because the person who dealt in this matter was out the office. No problem, we'd only logged up almost 2 1/2 hours by then, why rush now!

    After another 10 mins in walked a slight and spritely looking middle aged guy who took one look at Stephano and immediately embraced him whilst spitting out a stream of Italian the only part of which i could grasp was 'Ciao Stefano!' Guess who's cousin was in charge of the rubbish collection for the town!!!

    A few mins more of pleasantries followed by formalities and I was in the system and was presented with my very own large green rectangular bin inside which was a smaller brown bucket for organic waste along with a 3 months supply of the different types of biodegradeable plastic bags for each rubbish type - transparent of course so you can't kid the rubbish collectors! I even got a free woven shopping bag so as not to use biodegradeable plastic ones from the local supernmarkets, which by the way cost money!

    As I came out the office I cursed Stefano for not knowing his cousin was the head guy and would have probably been a short cut to pass most of the admin. nonsense but at least I was now registered and eligible to have my rubbish collected. Now all I have to do is hang up the calendar they gave me which shows on which day which rubbish is collected, and I'll tell you now - this is complicated!

    Back at the factory I picked up a strip of black and yellow striped hazard warning tape and stuck it around the green container so I could enter the condo later on in the evening doing a 'Mr Bean' waving it on high in the air for the condo administrator and friendly neighbours to clearly see.

    The irony to all this is that considering just how much rubbish one guy living in a one roomed apartment can accumulate it would have been easier to go to the supermarket, by a powerful kitchen liquidiser, and pulversize most everything in water and flush the soup down the toilet!

    In reality the only real refuse I have been accumulating each week are empty wine and beer bottles and the occasional empty glass jar or tuna fish can and these are really easy to get rid of. The council leaves a big green plastic container in a car park 50 yards from my home especially for glass and tins!!!

    So that's my tale of rubbish over!

    If anyone can match or beat this story I'm all ears but get in quick cos I have to go bag up tomorrows collection. I just hope I don't accidently throw away that calendar in the rubbish

    Have a chuckle folks!
    Last edited by jim_mex; 09-19-2011, 12:07 PM.
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein

  • #2
    After writing all of that story, its a wonder you have any energy left to do what you have to do over there........and I thought the red tape was bad here in the US. Not!
    Enjoy your stories, keep em coming, but you best be dancing on egg shells while you are there. dancing guy.gif
    Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.


    • #3
      It's great to be green Jim. Mind you if everyone has to fill out all those forms, bang goes another rain forest. Invite your nieghbours round to a bring a bottle party and them tell them to take thier rubbish home with them
      I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. Winston Churchill


      • #4
        Oh crap that was funny Jim......HAHAHAHA
        It's nice to know that they're try to be responsible with their waste, but that was just hillarious...

        Thanks Jim, I needed a good laugh........

        The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
        No task is too tedious for Art.
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        • #5
          Your tales of Italy should be published somewhere like Reader's Digest. It's not fair that we are the only ones who get to enjoy them.
          Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


          • #6
            I agree, submit that to readers digest. You may make some dollars to pay for your fine for recycling incorrectly. So glad you are continuing to take us on your trip.
            "Still Montana Mike"

            "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
            Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


            • #7
              And here I was grumbling when my garbage man wanted me to drag my cans across the road for collection. When I refused he said they could collect on a different day then.

              I wonder how much longer things would have taken you if the guy hadn't been a relative?




              • #8
                My question is: what happened to the green container from the previous person who was registered, the one you had to unregister? Maybe you get to take your green container back to Mexico with you! LOL! If you just stay registered then maybe you can mail back your garbage!


                • #9
                  The system seems to have evolved from the toss it out the closest open window when I was there. LOL You can handle it Jim. If they give you any crap tell 'em to call me.
                  May the wind at you back .....
                  Not be from Lunch.

                  Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

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                  • #10
                    i'll let Kermit handle my reply to this...


                    Only Robinson Crusoe could get everything done by Friday!


                    • #11
                      Hey folks -glad you enjoy that long winded tail. Just one comment I have to pick up on from sappy

                      Maybe you get to take your green container back to Mexico with you! LOL! If you just stay registered then maybe you can mail back your garbage!
                      The most amusing part about all this is that they will only register me up to the end of next April because that's when my work contract officially finishes. If for any reason I get any contract extension I'm definitely going to buy the biggest liquidizer I can find!

                      Well to end this tale I just came back from an invite to a local village fair where of course I had to sample the local delicacy - each village seems to have its own special dish. The last trip out was tripe (chopped intestines and stomach) in a thick sauce washed down with the local white wine. Tonight it was polenta with bogoni - grilled steamed sweet corn fritters with snails in sauce, this time with red wine! I did wonder on the way home if I were to throw up on the walk up the drive which bag it would have to go in. would that be the organic waste or the green one - LOL!

                      Luckily there were no accidents - the snails in sauce were actually very tastey- but then, my stomach is like a rubbish bin and most of the stuff that goes in does get recycled - some just gets processed a heck of a lot quicker than others!

                      Keep smiling, cos I definitely will!
                      Last edited by jim_mex; 09-19-2011, 10:55 PM.
                      Jim in Mexico

                      Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                      - Albert Einstein


                      • #12
                        My goodness, Jim. It's just one merry adventure after another . . . . .

                        Keep 'em coming--they're great!!!

                        Follow me on my blog:


                        • #13
                          I used to have a cast iron gut. Now it is more like a bowl full of jello....LOL
                          "Still Montana Mike"

                          "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                          Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


                          • #14
                            Yes please, keep em coming.
                            Pacifism is great, as long as everyone is participating.


                            The Southern Arizona Woodturners Association
                            Desert Woodcrafters
                            Grandpa for the 7 most amazing children.


                            • #15
                              I used to have a cast iron gut. Now it is more like a bowl full of jello....LOL
                              Hey Mick - I think I resemble that remark - LOL!
                              Jim in Mexico

                              Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                              - Albert Einstein


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