by Damien Murphy
WHILE most of us agree that recycling is important, most of us still knowingly bin recyclable waste, according to a study published last September.
The study showed that, for the most part, we throw out what we could recycle simply because we are too busy or too lazy.
So perhaps Brighton should be grateful to have someone like Olive Taylor, who has been picking up the slack, and the trash, for others for decades.
The Brighton pensioner has been shouldering more than her share of the burden, collecting cans and rubbish to recycle for charity since 1978.
But cleaning up after the rest of us is quite the Herculean task for a blind octogenarian, so it is little surprise her workload has literally piled up.
Brighton and Hove City Council has given the 87-year-old until April 10 to clear the four-foot-high piles of rubbish that line the path to her house.
It is hard to blame her neighbours for complaining about the rubbish and the flies it attracts, nor the council for viewing the hoard as a health risk.
Yet it is just as hard to doubt that Miss Taylor’s intentions are noble.
Back in 2003, Miss Taylor told the Argus: “[The council] seem to think I am an obsessive compulsive who collects rubbish for the sake of it… [but] it is there until I have sorted through it and taken it down to be recycled.”
It may be an eyesore and a hazard, but perhaps it is not Miss Taylor who should be ashamed of the mounds of rubbish.
Perhaps the shame better belongs to those of us who don’t take responsibility for the waste we produce, leaving it for others to pick up.
Clearing up Olive Taylor’s garden once and for all means getting better at cleaning up after ourselves, and binning only what we can’t recycle.