Newest Review: ... taken recycling and waste disposal seriously. However with anything there is always both positive and negative things. I have listed wha... more
Global Warming? What A Load of Rubbish!
Member Name: thedevilinme
Advantages: We religiously recycle
Disadvantages: No money in it
Local council by-laws, coming into being in 2010, will see people who fail to obey public refuse laws paying more fines than ever- more than a shoplifter will in court. If you leave your lid up by six or more inches through over-filling in Northamptonshire you first get a warning then a fine of £100. If builders leave waste outside of your house its £1000, even if they aren't working in your house!
In Southend a chap who runs a cycling shop has been fined nearly £200 notes, get this, for NOT putting his rubbish out! The guy is furious and claims the fine has been levied because he won't sign up to a contract with the private waste company that the council employ in the town. They charge £80 to local businesses to supply and collect 50 commercial rubbish bags in a set period, charging more if you need more bags. The guy claims he recycles all his rubbish himself and he doesn't need any help, why he doesn't need the bags, surely a model eco retailer. The council fined him £180 with it rising to £300 for non payment in a set period, clearly insinuating the guy is fly tipping to avoid the £80, even though the guy proved his thriftiness with his rubbish to a visiting council officer.
What I suspect is happening here is the cost of recycling is getting too expensive and even though 90% of the residents and businesses adhere to the rules of filling the various trays and wheelie bins the loss has to be recovered through that law abiding 90%, the 10% always the ones that offend but never pay fines, costing five times the fine to chase them up so not worth it.
In Northampton I'm fully expecting the council to introduce a general bin tax where you pay per amount you tip because of this big financial loss on waste services one day soon. The bin men are certainly under similar health & safety attacks, silly new rules on how to move waste getting ridiculous. One new bin man (not from Northamptonshire) refused to empty a bin that 'had maggots in it, quoting a rule that they didn't have to empty bins with 'live animals' in it, the maggots only in there because its summer and the householders rubbish gets collected every two weeks instead of one now, an irritating contradiction on what hygiene bin collections are supposed to be about. These binmen who report you for bin abuse are the same cowboys who make one hell of a mess on collection day as paper and plastic bottles fly off the blue and green trays and litter the street as the cart grinds through, flinging the empty trays over their shoulders so you have to slalom past them on the pavement and cars swerve past them in the middle of the road. I don't see anyone fining the binmen for being the biggest litters by far.
In Northamptontonshire the state of the art waste recycling centres, spread around the county, cost a bomb to build and £5 million pounds a year to run. In the 'credit crunch' year of 2008 when recycled materials values collapsed if had its biggest recorded loss, some £2.4 million. No one was buying tin and glass and so there was no money in muck and brass. Basically recycling makes a big loss here and we are tied into reducing landfill under a European parliament ruling that has been set too high, councils having to recycle 40% of everything by 2014. The residents are on board and dutifully sorting the bottles and cans into the various trays; putting their garden waste in the big brown wheelie bin and everything else in the standard black wheelie. But still we lose money. Lots of money.
The first big waste to the environment from the scheme is we have three different trucks for the three different collections running three times the amount of fuel and emissions, probably because the trucks are sponsored by three different corporations looking for some 'green washing', boosting their green credentials for good PR on the trucks yet carrying on polluting the world. We do have twice weekly collections but it's still double the amount of trucks and trips out there. Just one of these trucks picking up bins on a main road can cause serious congestion, the cars and trucks backed up then pumping out more fumes as they growl away in first gear as the mechanism crunches the garbage and generates more council debt every bite. Blocks and blocks of recycled and unreclyed waste are building up in warehouses as the credit crunch really bites those bit chunks out of local councils budgets. It became pretty clear Northampton was never going to meet those landfill targets so we started incinerating as much as we could, only bottles and cans surviving. As far as I know there's no money in recycling plastic as you can't burn it off very well and so this is now what is being stored in those warehouses. Other councils who are restricted on incineration are shipping their junk out to China and India on huge ships so it can be sorted, dumped and burnt there, bypassing E.U laws but just pushing pollution elsewhere to mess up the planet. Is this really a system worth investing in?
I agree with the collections and enough people are dutifully sorting so well worth staying with it, but what would be cool on top of that is a user friendly scrap yard, so to speak, where householders and businesses could take their tins and bottles and get paid cash for them, like as kids did when we took our lemonade bottles back to the newsagents. The biggest incentive to recycle is profit and saving money and I do fear if and when bin taxes come in they won't be about householders being able to save money off their council tax by recycling methodically but increasing council tax money by imposing unfair limits on families. The system we have is not profitable and never will be and so that means that money will always have to come from the tax payer - at every stage up the chain.
It was the same thing when the EU introduced 'Carbon Trading' through the Kyoto Agreement, the biggest polluting companies having to buy carbon credits in the hope they would reduce pollution. But too many carbon credits were issued and the big companies got theirs free, meaning in some cases the big polluters were actually making money from the credits. It was an eco disaster and an example why green will only be embraced fully if the big players and governments can make big bucks, the market likely to be worth $60 million dollars a year by 2014. The British government is forever hyping up global warming claims to cash in on that tax, green hype, and that fear the only way they can wean us off oil that is running out fast. Once this recession is over oil will be running out by 2020-burning more than we produce-on current known reserves, but green taxes and not moves to cut energy use the only plan they have...
Summary: Its not the end of the word as we know it