A London Borough has launched a new scheme allowing local residents to discard their nannies and au pairs in an environmentally friendly way. Since November 1, Richmond upon Thames has been operating a pilot scheme in which overseas workers can be left out with bottles, cans and newspapers, allowing them to be used again by residents in other parts of the borough.
‘The credit crunch has hit many of our middle class families quite severely and many of them are having to cut back,’ explained Martin Hall, from the borough’s recycling programme. ‘But now Eastern European employees can be used again and again, cutting down on flights home, distressed telephone calls and embarrassing emotional situations.’ In the leafy streets of Barnes and St Margarets, slightly distressed looking young Polish women can now be seen sitting in recycling boxes on Sunday nights before the lorry comes round. They are then collected on Monday morning by private contractors who relocate them in other local homes.
‘We had a marvellous Croation girl; very hard worker,’ said Arabella Hutchinson from Sheen. ‘But when Jeremy didn’t get his bonus we had to cut back. What was it to be – give up the gym membership, sell Jemima’s pony or let the au pair go? Luckily they have this splendid nanny recycling scheme round here, so it was an easy decision.’ There have also been problems with re-allocation of au pairs to their new families. After a mix up at the recycling depot, one Richmond family were given a sack of old Daily Telegraph’s to look after their children, while others were given a load of empty Chablis bottles.
‘Well it’s all much of a muchness isn’t it?’ said Arabella. ‘We’ve got some crushed Tennants Extra cans babysitting tonight, but I’m sure the kids will be fine. The cans are actually much cheaper than that Croation girl. Unfortunately the Hutchinsons were fined by the council for putting their au pair in the wrong coloured box. It’s impossible to remember what’s what. Poles go in the red box, Hungarians in the green box, and the big sacks are for girls from the Baltic states. No hang on, that’s not right…’