tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Bins on train stations

[Written a couple of weeks ago and found in my paper notebook.]

During my first week in Leamington Spa there were bins on the platforms. These weren't proper bins, just lidded hoops with a bag swinging underneath, but at least it was a bin. Now, there is nothing.

I've seen this happen before, the bins disappear off Brighton station regularly, and they are gone so often I'm now surprised to see a bin rather than that there are none. I'm guessing the event that prompted their most recent disappearance was the attacks on the trains in Spain. Somehow the British railway stations think a group of people organised enough to place a set of multiple bombs on multiple trains will be foiled by the lack of a thin pocket of plastic on Leamington Spa station.

I can understand how the habit of removing rubbish bins started. When I was a child the IRA hid many bombs in bins, killing and hurting many people. However, does removing bins actually stop bombs being planted? From where I sit, on a bench in a waiting room, I can see half a dozen hiding places - under one of the benches, up the chimney via the fireplace. Outside there are drinks machines, on top of which something could be left, or in a plant pot, on top of one of the lights. Even a bad dropped off the edge of the platform would likely go unnoticed for quite a while.

Removing the bins falls in that awful category of being seen to be doing something. This isn't really actually helping security, it's just a large company doing something very small to show they are trying to be security conscious. What is really does is create much more litter and generally degrade the quality of where we live.

Surely we could have transparent bins with transparent bin bags, allowing simple visual inspections without old cigarette packets and sandwich cartons being strewn across the platform? And surely us degrading out own environment, in however small a way, is dancing to the tune of those who want to attack us, and is not helping in any way.

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