Dustbin day

1955

About this memory

Every Prefab had a large galvanised Dustbin as shown in the picture.
These would be collected from the roadside every week by lorries similar to the one shown.
The Dustbins were rarely full of anything apart from the cold ashes from the coal fire. There was no plastic and anything flammable was put on the fire.

The fires originally burned coal or wood and were lit by screwed up twists of old newspaper and bits of stick,
Sometimes there were 6 inch square blocks of compressed coal dust called "Briquettes" or egg-shaped smaller ones called" Ovals" which were cheaper.
After the 1957 Clean Air Act we went over to Coke,which had to be lit with a gas poker.
In the winter the ashes were put on the paths and pavements.

The roll top sides on the Bin lorries were there to stop the ashes blowing away.

Some of the men wore leather caps with a neck flap to protect their faces and necks when carrying the bins on their shoulders, like the man in the picture.

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