Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What's all that about then?

My daily stroll, accompanied by Haggis the Lucky Labrador and, occasionally, Machrihanish the Sausage Dog, takes in many fine and empty forestry tracks around these parts. Some of these are in very good condition, but many have suffered over the winter, leaving evil potholes to swallow the unwary.


This morning, as I sallied forth, I noticed that some enterprising fellow had attempted to fix one of these potholes, although without much success. Whatever material he had used had been squeezed back out again by the first passing Land Rover. From afar, it didn't look like very good material with which to repair a pothole, either. More akin to mud or fine sand than the usual bucketload of rocks they use around these parts.


Closer inspection revealed that it was indeed a very poor material for mending roads. I'm sure when John Loudon McAadam invented his method of road construction, he didn't have in mind that navvies should use, as aggregate, cat litter. And yet this is what someone had done.


In the interests of economy, they had allowed the cat to use it first. For quite some considerable time, judging by the large quantities of cat-poop in and around the pothole. Rain and melting snow had softened the mix, and the passage of vehicles had squished and squeezed it, toothpaste-like, out of the pothole, smearing it along the roadway for several yards. It's nice and cold at the moment, but I suspect in a day or two it will start to reek.


What I can't understand, though, is why? Why go to all the trouble of taking your cat litter out into the countryside and dumping it in a pothole on a remote forestry track? Sure, it's out of the way, so nobody will notice. But we have a weekly rubbish collection service round here - just about the only thing tangible my council tax seems to provide. The local bin men are actually helpful, and will take pretty much anything you leave out, as long as it's in a bag. There's none of that nonsense you hear about in the cities, where they refuse to empty the wheelie-bins because they're too full, or they fine you for putting the wrong things in the recycling. 


I don't believe for a minute that whoever dumped this cat litter honestly thought they were improving the road surface. For a start the only people who actually live up that way don't have cats, and no-one else except the forestry commission would try to repair the track. You know all about it when the forestry commission are working, because they use very heavy machinery to crush rocks the size of my fist into the road surface. They don't use kitty-litter.


So whoever did this was effectively fly-tipping. That happens around here. Not too often, fortunately - we're just about remote enough to make it not worth the effort - but it does happen. Occasionally Neds from Manchester and Birmingham steal cars and bring them down to the forestry. They race around like hoons, pretending to be Colin McRae until someone crashes. Then they set fire to the stolen car and go home. The burned out hulks remain for a while, until there are enough to make it worthwhile for a scrap dealer to come and collect them all. 


Over the years I've seen the odd bag of rubbish tossed into the bushes, as if having it hanging around for another week until collection day was too much of an insult to whoever forgot to put it out in time. There was an old microwave thrown into a ditch once, which one of the locals put in the back of their pick-up and took away - god only knows what he did with it. The foresters tend to leave a lot of lunch debris when they're working, but by and large, it's pretty tidy around here. Then someone goes to all the trouble of bagging up his whiffy cat litter, sticking it in the back of his car and driving out into the middle of nowhere before surreptitiously dumping it in a pothole.


Do they not know that they can take it to the dump in town and dispose of it legally and for free? The municipal waste site is only twenty minutes drive away. You've already bagged up your cat-san and stuck it in your boot. Why not take it there?

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1 Comments:

Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Maybe the chap had too much beer and confused the empty bottles he intended to bring back for the return money with the cat litter that really needed to be taken out and realised his mistake halfway through. Not feeling like taking the litter back, he dumped it into a hole, with that strange clearsightedness of a drunk that holed need to be filled. :)

March 06, 2010 6:59 pm  

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