15 November 2021

To the car that parked in front of my bins: an open letter

| Damien Larkins
Start the conversation
A car parked in front of rubbish on a Canberra street

Why? Why would you do this to me? Photo: Damien Larkins.

Putting the bins out isn’t my favourite task – but having to move them later because someone parked them in makes it a real chore.

For the second week in a row, it feels like I’ve had to put my bins out twice.

Each time, on the allotted evening, I’ve dutifully rolled them to the kerb to be collected in the morning, only to find later that night someone has parked right in front of them.

I’m not angry. I’m not even disappointed. Mostly, I’m confused. Why? Why would someone do this? It makes absolutely zero sense.

READ ALSO Get in the spirit of no waste this November and follow the Garage Sale Trail

There’s plenty of other spots to park, possibly in front of your own house and not mine. It hasn’t even been the same car.

Who even does that?

Is there a secretive cabal of local neighbourhood watchers, passive-aggressively trying to inform me that I’m not putting them out the right way?

If there’s a better way, or somewhere else I should put them out, can someone please just tell me?

Does the very presence of my bins besmirch the overall look and feel of the street? There are plenty of other bins out (in fact, that’s how I usually can tell if it’s recycling week); why are mine so viscerally disagreeable?

Garbage bins. Photo: Region Media.

No one parked in front of these bins. Why? Photo: Region Media.

Once my muttered curses subside, I take a breath and ponder some reasonable explanations.

I tried to take myself out of my (now damp) slippers and into their shoes and ask myself if there is a perfectly good reason that I’m not seeing.

Maybe they didn’t see my bins? I mean, there is some slim chance that two large green bins, one with a red lid and the bigger one with a bright yellow lid, directly under a streetlight could be overlooked.

There were other parking spots all around the street, but maybe the driver was headed somewhere where an extra few steps just weren’t feasible?

Were they on crutches? In which case, how rude of someone else to park in their spot and make them walk so far.

Maybe the driver knew they’d be gone before the garbage truck came the next day, though I defy anyone to know exactly when the truck comes beyond “usually sometime on bin day”.

Applying Occam’s Razor, it’s the simplest explanation that I was keen to avoid.

The one idea I didn’t want to admit, that may be most likely, is they simply didn’t care.

It didn’t cross their mind that my bins might not be emptied because of their actions.

Who cares that I might have to haul my bin full with a week’s worth of garbage in the car to the tip and pay $14 to dump it?

Or, if I’m very lucky, that the garbage truck driver might be forced to get out and move them, as if they don’t already have a hard enough job. Do they even do this nowadays – is it the big mechanical arm or nothing?

A rubbish bin on a Canberra street

Fortunately, it didn’t happen the next week, or any week since (touch wood). Photo: Damien Larkins.

Maybe this person’s single-minded desire to park in the spot directly in front of my house, directly in front of my bins, was simply greater than concern about the convenience of others.

Because, in the end, it’s not the end of the world, it is just an inconvenience.

In the early morning, before going to work, I had to move my bins because of someone else’s choices.

I didn’t want to, I shouldn’t have had to, but it was the only reasonable and viable solution to ease my mind and ensure they’d be collected.

I’m not naming and shaming the person who parked there – though it would feel good to flex some petty revenge.

But you know who you are.

Original Article published by Damien Larkins on The RiotACT.

Start the conversation

Weekly Wrap

Do you want to keep up with what’s happening in Gungahlin? Every week we package up the best stories in a free newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up now and find out what everyone else is talking about.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.