But despite the contents all being recyclable and the fact I hadn’t sneakily buried a bag of grass cuttings in there, I still received a warning notice.
It politely suggested that unless I placed the box on the boundary of my property and not next to my front door (ooh, at least 10 steps away), then it would not be emptied. These council officials who find my green box impractically far away obviously do not have an RX-8 as a company car. Reading the dipstick is enough to send any jobsworth round the bend.
As previously reported, rotary engines consume oil at a higher rate than conventional engines, which means you need to check the dipstick every other time you fill-up with petrol (about 450 miles).
The fact that the dipstick and oil filler are not easily accessible make this process a bit of a palaver.
Not only are they sited at the back of the engine bay but they are also under a cover that needs to be removed. While doing this recently, I noticed a smattering of what is best described as white gunk on the top of the dipstick and around its housing, as though a small amount of oil had solidified, but a call to my local dealer assured me this was normal.
Oil duties over, the reward is getting back behind the wheel of the RX-8. The negatives of regular oil checks – and frequent fill-ups at the petrol pump – are far outweighed by its cool, sporty look, roomy interior and zippy performance. And the roar of the engine has never failed to put a smile on my face.
Model: Mazda RX-8 231
Price (OTR): £22,100 (£25,900 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 284
Company car tax bill (2004/5) 22% tax-payer: £256 per month
Insurance group: 16
Combined mpg: 24.8
Test mpg: 22.5
CAP Monitor residual value: £9,725/44%
HSBC contract hire rate: £502
Expenditure to date: Nil