They appeared a week before Christmas, like a litter of unwanted puppies, clustered around the big wheelie bins outside each house in the street.
These mini-bins were about a foot tall and had big folding handles like a supermarket basket. When you opened one you found an even smaller grey plastic bin inside, Russian-doll style - and an explanatory leaflet from the good people at the London Borough of Lambeth.
Only those with the time and patience to study this 12-page document will learn the full and proper use of their new food waste bins. You also learn that the mini-bin inside is more accurately named your "kitchen caddy".
And that you are supposed to line this with the free starter pack of caddy-liners provided by our generous council. Sadly, these were not evident on our doorstep.
And that, when full, you put the caddy into the outdoor food waste bin which is lockable and supposedly rodent-proof.
Unfortunately, over that much extended Christmas holiday period, all four of our food waste bins have vanished, whether into flats or into some fly-by-night bin thief's van, remains to be seen.
Of course it's an exemplary green initiative, and apparently we all asked for it. And once we all get down to composting all our food waste (but not fats and liquids, please) we obviously won't need so much black bin space.
Such is Lambeth's faith in our conscientious approach to re-cycling they already removed our five large wheelie bins (one for each flat) and replaced them with one, only very slightly larger new bin.
The bin was emptied on Friday and full again by Sunday night. And that is with only half the normal occupants of these flats in situ.
Sorry Lambeth, but who exactly was it who asked for this new service? How much didi it cost, and will it be policed?
Because if noty, I fear there's going to be an awful lot more mess around here. Sadly, many of the young tenants of flats in this area are working 18 hour days in the city. Back home they often binge on take-aways and tinnies. Their idea of recycling is to put all the packaging and leftovers back into the takeaway bag and leave it on the pavement. The foxes get fat on this stuff, but they are almost as messy as the the yuppies upstairs.
Oh well. All this and yet I still prefer living in Lambeth to the brighter borough just down the road.