Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Rubbish collections.

There's more than one you can read that, and increasingly it's looking like the most appropriate way to read it if you live in the UK is that the collections themselves are rubbish.
Fortnightly bin collections are to be extended across the country to save money.
Where we used to live in the UK the local council was one of the early adopters of the fortnightly collection, I think using climate whinge to justify it along with a lot of bullshit about showing leadership or something. Last I heard a majority of councils still provided the service for which local taxpayers have paid and only a third or so (the article says 'less than half'*) had decided to collect less often while charging the same or a similar amount. It's easy to get away when your 'customers' are forced at the point of a metaphorical gun to pay up anyway, and now it looks like just about all the rest are going the same way. Still, if it's countrywide there must be a decent amount of support for the move by now, yes? Ah...
Polls show that nearly three quarters of householders are opposed to having “black bag” rubbish collected fortnightly.
I can't think why, unless...
There are fears that the change will lead to a rise in fly-tipping and problems with vermin and bad smells in summer.
Just goes to show that one government department that doesn't exist but that the country probably would benefit from is the Department of the Fucking Obvious.
Doretta Cocks, of the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collection, said: “I’ve lost count of the number of parents with young families who have said how disgusting it is to have nappies piling up in their bin for 13 or 14 days at a time. As well as a health hazard, it is simply undemocratic to ignore the wishes of local people who want weekly collections.”
Whereas a spokesmouth for the Department of the Environment said:
The people? What the fuck have they got to do with anything?
Sorry, that should read,
“Councils should work with their local communities to determine what waste collection arrangements are most appropriate for where they live.”
Reading between the lines I'm not sure that this is much different from what I've crossed out. The bottom line is that they have everybody over a barrel and having spunked away all the money they took at gunpoint they're going to take more and do even less in return. Of course there'll be fucking fly tipping in that situation. It's only natural for flies and vermin to take an interest in bins that are stinking but nobody expects them to respond to a law telling them not to do what's in their nature. For most modern, civilised human beings it's in their nature not live in a fucking midden, but fuckwits at local and national level have introduced laws telling them they have to and they have to pay for the fucking privilege. People will disobey and then someone from a council is going to have to go and collect it from ditches and commons instead of just hoisting a bin into a truck. Fucking genius... /facepalm.

Again I have to ask why this is necessary in what is still, despite the recession and Colostomy Brown's best efforts, a fairly wealthy country. Four months ago I wrote about how it's done here in Australia (or at least the bits I'm familiar with):
There's a tip/recycling centre about 20 minutes drive away that is either free or inexpensive depending on what and how much we're dropping off. We have a pair of 120 litre bins that are provided to all local rate payers, and for a couple of bucks a week per bin we could double up to 240 litres (or reduce to 80 and get a small rebate). One bin is for rubbish and the other is for assorted - i.e. unsorted - recyclables. Seriously, we don't do any separating beyond what can be recycled and what can't, so all paper, cardboard, tins and plastics with a recycle logo just get rinsed out if necessary and chucked into the same bin, with everything else going into garbage bags before being put in the other bin. Nobody gets their cock in a knot and insists the bins are put out in the morning rather than the night before, nobody talks about fines if it's a bit full and the lid doesn't quite shut all the way, and nobody insists it's in a particular place as long as the robotic arm on the truck can reach, which is a fair way (vid - not our council but similar machines). And both bins are emptied weekly, and we don't have to do anything other than take 'em out the night before the bin men 'garbos' come round. Some places even empty rubbish and recyclables in the same vehicle.

I mean, how backward is that? Apart from the robot arms on the vehicles and recycling some stuff that's like where rubbish collection was in Britain 25 years ago. How long is it going to take them to work out that the modern way is to charge more, make householders sort out the recycling into a random number of bins depending on local council area, which might then get mixed up again on collection anyway, and then collect only half as often so people just get more bins, the bins stink, get fly blown and attract vermin? Hopefully a very long time, because being where the UK was years ago is rather better than being where it is now. Backwards, my arse - it's the UK that's been forwards in going backwards towards stinking streets in summertime, so really what I don't get is why Australian councils can provide a service that fewer than half of UK councils can manage these days. I can't believe that the kind of people in local buggerment government are vastly better, so what have we got here that Britain hasn't?
Seriously, what is the difference? Both have governments at national and local level that still believe in the warble gloaming trope, and in both this is used to justify those governments saying 'fuck you' to taxpayers. I'm not at all convinced that Australians are significantly better than the British and standing up and demanding better from their elected officials. So what is it? At the risk of sounding like an anti-EU tinfoil hatter could it just be that Australia doesn't have anyone else telling it what to do? Or is it that that the equivalent of the EU here is the federal government but that rubbish collection is a matter of state law** and is further devolved downwards to local council level? Whatever the reason is I'm glad. It's been hot and sticky the last couple of days and I'm sure the bins would be reeking if they'd been left festering in the summer heat for nearly a fortnight. Another reason not to feel homesick for the UK.

* One for the pedants. Yes, they mean 'fewer'.
** I don't know if that is the case. I'm just speculating that it might be.


microdave said...

"At the risk of sounding like an anti-EU tinfoil hatter could it just be that Australia doesn't have anyone else telling it what to do?"

Got it in one! These fortnightly collections and recycling schemes are driven by EU requirements...

JuliaM said...

Maybe that's what Gordon's new slogan means. That in future, our towns and villages will reek just like they do when the fair leaves town, and reveals all the crap left behind....

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