Thursday, 15 January 2009

Folks, this is what we're up against!

Sourced from an article in yesterday's online Guardian:

"Millions of people who recycle their rubbish could find it becomes a futile exercise due to the government's failure to provide enough facilities to prevent it from being dumped in landfill sites, a report from a Whitehall watchdog warns today.

Homeowners and tenants could also have to foot the bill for fines totalling hundreds of millions of pounds because their council has fallen behind in developing recycling schemes.

The EU has set a deadline of 2013 to halve dumping in landfill sites; the government faces fines if it misses the target and will pass this on to councils.The National Audit Office says there is little chance of completing a programme of building incinerators and large-scale recycling schemes by 2013."

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Oh my word! This is indeed why I keep talking rubbish. I don't want an incinerator nor do I want to foot the bill to pay for other people's trash if our councils fail to meet future targets.

We're all in this together and I say if the chiefs can't sort it out let us ordinary folk tackle the problem. So please keep spreading the word and tell others that they do have a choice and can slim their bins too. That way, we can all keep our hard-earned cash right where it belongs and prevent rubbish going up in smoke.

Well, that's me off my soapbox...normal service will now be resumed.



mrs green said...

eek. Thanks for the heads up, Mrs A and all the more reason to spread the message. I'm off to the zero waste roadshow today, so let's hope that gets a few more people interested.

Have a great weekend,
Mrs G x

Karin said...

The slogan is reduce, re-use, recycle, but I must admit I'm as guilty as (almost) anyone (hopefully not as the worst offenders) of concentrating more on recycling than on the other two, and then feeling I've done my bit.

Most of us could do well enough if we bought less and we could avoid excessive packaging in particular, on a good day at least.

With a bit of time and thought we could probably re-use more than we do, and maybe mend a bit more, as your recent example suggests.

Having a blog like this to remind us and help us feel encouraged because we are not alone in our struggles, is great.

Keep up the good work, Mrs A A

John Costigane said...

I totally with your assessment. We all have to do the work required ourselves.

Reduce is my main target now. This consists of avoiding plastic bottles where practicable and aerosols which contain hazardous waste fluid. These cannot be removed completely easily but reduction is achievable.


Hi Mrs G - Don't know how I missed it on Wednesday LOL, must be because I'm overexcited about my Eglu.

Hi Karin - thank you so much for your support there. I sometimes wonder whether I'm just a mad old bird but comments like yours show that perhaps I'm not - thank you for keeping me sane :-D

Hi John - so true about what you say. Even though it's very difficult to remove disposable plastic entirely, it's easy to reduce what you can as many alternatives are available :-D

Katy said...

We all know this, and we can probably all convert a few people we know have good intentions but need a bit of help... but is it really possible for us to reach the hard-core "wasters"? People who say things like this, as quoted by Alex:

“Personally I don’t care. It’s not my problem to be honest. I know it sounds daft but it’s the County Council, it’s the Government’s problem"

I don't want to be too pessimistic. As Freecycle shows, sometimes grassroots is really very effective at reaching a lot of people - and not reaching everyone is no reason not to try to reach anyone at all.


Hi Katy - Like you, I don't think it will be possible to reach the entire population and there will be always folk who don't feel the responsibility. But I do believe that there are thousands of people like me, who for whatever reason haven't realised that something can be done, or indeed should be done.

I really believe that the waste reduction challenge is a real marketing issue, requiring different messages to reach different folk who have so many alternative needs, wants and priorities in life. It's a market that requires segmenting so the right communication can be used for the appropriate sector.

I so love your phrase at the end, "not reaching everyone is no reason not to reach anyone at all". So true, so true :-D

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

Councils have a huge problem.
Those that have invested in recycling facilities now find that their recyclets are of little or no value and/or have a very limited market. The problem they have is just what are they to do with the materials that are mounting up?

Far from councils "falling behind in developing recycling schemes" the truth is that you can't recycle that which no one will accept as a source material. If they store it someone has to pay and councils' are well aware that in these economic times the council tax payers cannot be expected to bare an increased financial burden.

The government will, of course, blame the councils, but such a shame that the government was unable to invest 10% of the money they have managed to find for the banks in recycling and renewable energy initiatives...

Alex Bone said...

I saw this story too. I have just had a big rant on my blog about these really unhelpful stories in the press. Everyone needs to take responsibility for waste NOW!!!

I have the enviable task of trying to make people take responsibility.

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

Quite so Alex!

I read an article in the press recently about how a council were putting recycled glass into landfill and complaining that people were taking trouble to separate the glass and councils were just dumping it...

When I investigated I found that someone had put Pyrex into a recycling bin and this had contaminated an entire batch when it was processed at the recycling facility. So it had to be landfilled!

"Council Tax payers cause landfill problem" will not sell papers though, will it!!


Hi Peter - It's true what you say. And they are just one piece in a huge jumbled jigsaw. Good point about the investment from government for recycling and renewable energy. We also need more action from manufacturers and suppliers to use more recycled resources. If the government laid down financial incentives or penalties to encourage companies to use more recycled resources in manufacturing that would be a great start.

That story about the pyrex dish says a lot about the missing link that is out there somewhere and is indeed the reality of what councils are facing.

You should offer your headline writing services to the national press....I'd buy a copy if that hit the front page :-D

Hi Alex - I certainly don't envy your position. You guys do such a fabulous job in such adversity. Just keep trying, keep smiling and good will happen....and in the meantime, I am popping over to have a look at your post now :-D x

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