How to Take Out the Bin
You might this article is a joke. Sadly, it is not. Student life is a wonderful mish-mash of socialising and cooking and bumping into people in the library and communal despairing over certain assignments, but there is one smelly piece of evil which is despaired more than anything else, and that is the bin.
Oh the bin. You might have a large bin. You might have a small bin. Size doesn’t matter. Shape doesn’t matter. Where it is positioned in the kitchen doesn’t matter. As long as you live in a shared kitchen without an obvious parental figure and where there is always the possibility of someone else taking out the bin, the bin will become not only the bin of your life, but the bane of your life.
At first you won’t notice it. Empty food cartons and fresh peelings will disappear to the bottom of the bag as if by magic. A few days later things start to pile up. One of your flatmates decides to put a rather bulky piece of packaging in, and to make more room you shove down on the piece of packaging. What could go wrong? There’s still a bit of space left. The space gets filled quickly and a corner of the plastic bag comes undone and folds into the bin. Disaster looms.
Rather than kindly folding the bin bag back around the bin, your flatmates take an alternative course of action. Greasy food is forced into the bin, bag or no bag, and the bin starts to overflow. But the lid still fits, just, so nobody takes initiative and empties the stupid thing before it becomes an extremely unpleasant job. You consider it, but think that because you weren’t the one who caused the bag debacle, you shouldn’t be the one to take responsibility.
Unfortunately, a few days and a pile of mouldy rubbish later, you do take on the responsibility. The bag has been forced in so deep it has to be wrenched out of the plastic container, and then bin juice drips all over the floor. A questionable substance licks your hand; the outside of the bag is slimy from all the food which went outside it rather than in it.
At this stage, you can almost see the mould spores in the air. You wonder why the biomed student didn’t take out the bin earlier. Hadn’t they been talking about an airborne diseases lecture earlier? You wonder why the philosophy student didn’t do it either. You can’t debate the importance of kindness in life and not be kind enough to take out the bin. You start to begrudge your flatmates but you don’t want to be the first person to write passive aggressive messages in the flat chat. You think about setting up a bin rota, but worry the rest of the flat will think you’re uptight. Cleanliness just isn’t cool these days.
But fear not ye freshers, there are two solutions. The first is to set up a bin tally above your bin. Games are always fun, and maybe if your flatmates see that you’ve taken it out four times to their never, maybe, just maybe, they will have mercy and condescend to take out the bin.
The alternative is to suck it up, sigh, and become the “bin fairy” of your flat. It seems that some people believe the bin is always clean, that the contents are magicked away weekly by some unknown force of greater good. You are the greater good.
Of course, this a universal problem in shared flats at every university, and often makes for a popular conversation topic at pres before a night out, wherever you are. It is a CV-worthy task to deign to take out the bin. “I took out the bin every week in my student flat.” Hired on the spot. But it’s ok, because the older you get, the more people discover where the bin bags are kept.
If you can’t relate to this post, count yourself very, very lucky.