Rid me of craving to root in the bin

I really should know better than to rifle through bins. But somehow I just can't resist it. A force beyond my control impels me to lift the lid, brave the stinking mess inside and search for my Holy Grail.

I really should know better than to rifle through bins.

But somehow I just can't resist it.

A force beyond my control impels me to lift the lid, brave the stinking mess inside and search for my Holy Grail.

But, when I stood there yesterday - well fed, well clothed and with a sticky jam jar clenched triumphantly in my hand, I realised the time had come to admit I had a bit of a problem.


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That is to say, I am actually addicted. Not to anything dangerous like alcohol, gambling or The Jeremy Kyle Show, but to the strangely satisfying kick I get out of recycling.

And because it doesn't make me drunk, potentially richer, or an expert in chav culture, I'm still not sure where the mysterious buzz comes from.

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Is it the sheer selfless joy of knowing I'm doing my bit for the planet?

Or, more worryingly, do I simply relish accumulating mounds of plastic, tin, glass and paper?

Perhaps this is the beginning of a sad destiny of being entombed by rubbish like a young protégé of the ultimate hoarders - Hannah Hauxwell of the Yorkshire Dales or the eccentric Mr Trebus from A Life of Grime.

No one would argue it's not a good routine to get in to, but I'm pretty certain it's not meant to take over like this.

And to make this compulsion worse, I live with a non-recycler who thinks nothing of chucking away even those giant, six-pint plastic milk bottles.

Hence shamefully delving in our kitchen bin when she is out of sight and having a root around for her latest cast-offs.

'Horror! How could she?' I think, tutting under my breath as I rescue the booty and rinse it under the tap.

I don't actually have a recycling box at my flat - despite requests to West Norfolk Council - but, undefeated, I stockpile the stuff in my garage until I can offload at parents' impressive wheelie-sized recycling bin in Norwich.

Once a month or so, all the cardboard, plastic and anything that can't be conveniently dropped off at my local supermarket gets taken for a longer trip down the A47.

My mum, a fellow devotee to the cause, is suitably impressed by my dedication. But my cynical dad, who probably risks a hernia just moving the bin to the front of the house on collection day, is baffled at all the bother when there's no cash incentive.

On the contrary, I've actually spent money on the habit, splashing out on some fancy, colour-coded recycling bags to try to make some order from the chaos in my disappearing garage.

But perhaps it's not an addiction at all - I just have the capacity to enjoy life's simple pleasures. When I squeeze out the last dribble of shampoo, I'm quietly chuffed the empty bottle has become another thing to recycle.

When all it means, of course, is that I need to go out and buy some more.

And maybe get a life.

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