Coronavirus: We’ll all just have to bottle up the glass – John McLellan

The suspension of car parking charges, locking up playgrounds and the closure of recycling centres would have been unthinkable a month ago but are just three examples of what local authorities are being forced to do to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

It’s to be expected that not all messages will get through, so our street would not have been unusual in householders putting out their glass recycling boxes as normal, only to find them still in the street because they were unaware the collection had been suspended. So effective has glass collection been that not all big supermarket recycling points have glass bins and the closure of pubs and restaurants means that more bottles are likely to be accumulated at home. A domestic glass mountain will be growing.

Growth spurt for councils’s Greens

It’s an ill-wind… While the Green Party will no doubt be quietly delighted that cars are vanishing, aircraft are grounded and commerce has ground to a halt, they have also benefitted from a massive increase in influence in Edinburgh Council.

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Oversight of urgent decisions is now being provided by a leadership advisory panel comprising the chief executive and the party leaders which meets by conference call. But because the Greens have two co-leaders, for reasons which remain obscure they are both on the panel while every other party only has one. And the EPIC group of independents isn’t represented at all.

Two metres a step too far on waterside

The new outdoor etiquette of social distancing is proving to be a challenge in some locations, particularly along the Water of Leith or the Canal towpath where there have been complaints that couples walking two abreast are not leaving enough room for others to pass without breaking the two-metre rule. On pavements people are stepping into the road to arc around those walking in the opposite direction, not an option if the arc puts you knee deep in water.

Strictly for the birds

Our house is only a twenty-minute walk from the city centre, and like all city dwellers the thrum of constant traffic is just a backdrop to everyday life. Now with the eradication of all but essential travel, as far as noise is concerned it’s more like living in the countryside and although it might be an illusion birdsong seems so much louder than before.

As life has changed completely in the space of a few days, it’s strangely comforting to hear the birds and see them in the trees as the buds turn into spring leaves. Life will go on.