Back in December 2013, Brittany Tomlinson, the Vice-President of Welfare and Community at Hull University Union, led a campaign called Don’t Be A Rubbish Neighbour. Though targeting students of Hull University, the campaign’s advice and tips are useful for anyone who owns a bin.
There were three main points to the campaign: As a neighbour, try your best to be quiet, tidy and green. Face it, whether you’re a student, a graduate or went to the University of Life, there’s the odd occasion when you may be a bit noisy, messy and environmentally unfriendly. A good example is a barbecue that continues long into the night, with good tunes, busy chatter, cacophonic karaoke, and enough food and drink to feed an army. Whilst you and your mates think that Dave’s loud joke about a vicar, an ostrich and a bowl of jelly is the funniest thing you’ve ever heard, your neighbours may have a different opinion. Meanwhile, food packaging and uneaten burgers are often thrown into the general waste rather than the recycling and composting bins; the odd beer bottle may be left on the street, and cigarette butts are often flicked into gutters and bushes.
Now, please don’t get us wrong – like the students of Hull University Union, we love a good get-together, but that doesn’t mean that you automatically have to be a bad neighbour. Here are our tips on how to keep the home, garden and neighbourhood clean and tidy during a party, all while keeping neighbour relations strong:
1) First off, invite the people next door, plus the ones from across the street if you know them or fancy making new friends.
2) Ensure that there are clearly marked bins both inside and outside the kitchen so that recycling and waste management runs as smoothly as possible. Make sure to include one for food scraps.
3) An outdoor cigarette bin is always handy and can save you a lot of hassle. At the very least you won’t need to go round the garden picking up smelly tabs; at the most, you could avert the rosebushes catching fire!
4) Leaving the emptying till the next morning? You don’t want flies and other pests filling up the garden and kitchen, so cover the bins up for the night. This will also reduce nasty odours spreading.
5) Move all of the waste, recyclable materials and food scraps into their respective bins ASAP so that they can be taken by the next council collection.
These tips can apply to any kind of event, from birthday parties and Christmas Day to coffee morning catch-ups. By making waste disposal and recycling as accessible and straightforward as possible for guests, you’ll make your home management easy for yourself. Moreover, the neighbours won’t moan about finding beer cans on the fence, or because their cat’s having belly problems after been eating leftover sausages from the ground – surely that in itself will make it worthwhile.