The bag of shame

Wellington has a weekly recycling collection: on alternate weeks residents can put out either a bag or wheelibin of paper, plastic and metals, or a crate of glass. On the website you can search by street name to discover which week is which:

Enter the name of your street below to find out when you need to put out your rubbish and recycling, and the type of recycling to put out.

[Via : Rubbish & Recycling - Suburban & Inner City Collections - Wellington City Council.]

Recycling weeks in Wellington. .

After searching for my street I find information on the recycling weeks in Wellington.

Only when writing this post did I discover they’ve made the website a bit more friendly, so it’s easy to see which week is for glass and which is for the rest.

Each Thursday when I take the dogs for a walk on the recycling collection day for our area I see stickered bags or bins left behind, because someone is always confused about which week it is.

Last year sometime I wrote a little Keyboard Maestro macro to help me: when I click an item on the Floating Macro Palette the computer says: This is glass|plastic week. Easy.

The macro uses some Applescript to do its work. First though, I had to figure out which weeks were which. In 2013 the odd numbered weeks of the year are for glass.

I also drew on code I found online for doing the date maths.

set strtDate to date (“01/01/” & year of (current date))

set dtOffset to (current date) – strtDate

set currWeek to dtOffset div weeks + 1

if currWeek mod 2 = 0


say “This is Plastic week.”


say “This is Glass week.”

end if

The code takes advantage of the fact that any even number divided by 2 doesn’t have a remainder (mod 2 = 0).

So all I have to do is click the entry on the Floating Macro Palette to find out which kind of recycling to put out. It works superbly.

Except when I think I know which week is which and don’t check my macro before carrying the recycling 50 metres or so up our footpath to the road.

Today the bag of shame was mine. Sigh.

The bag of shame.

The bag of shame.


  1. Yours was the bag of shame. Mine was the bag I put out a day early.

  2. I use Google Calendar for things like this, which allows you to select repeating, to show on your Calender fornightly or monthly or whatever. Now that I have become mac friendly, I am able to sync my Google Calendar with my apple Calendar to have those repeating reminders on my desktop daily.

  3. Mike and Heather: now the Council provide a link for the calendar file I’ve added it to my calendar. I’d created the macro before that was available and also for my own fun and entertainment. I still need to remember to refer to my reference files though. :-)

    An app would be nice: it finds your location and just tells you which recycling to put out and on which day. It could also have a reference for what you can and can’t recycle. Info about rubbish collection could be in the same app – handy for when collection day falls on a public holiday, for example.

  4. Council’s calendar link is just a simple “repeat every two weeks” entry, it doesn’t reflect changed collection dates due to Christmas or other public holidays. There’s certainly a missed opportunity to provide a useful service to the public.

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