The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010


Posted by rantingkraut on August 27, 2006

The BBC today reports on plans for usage related waste disposal charges. Not that there is anything wrong in principle with usage related charges as opposed to flat-fees. There a number of problems in this case though. First, it appears that any change in local services charges will be seen as an opportunity for a tax increase.

IPPR director Nick Pearce said that for the new system to be fair, rubbish collection would have to be removed from the council tax.

Nice idea Nick, but I believe that when I see it. Second, new labour seems to see any green issue as another opportunity to impose yet more ridiculous and intrusive measures:

Electronic spy ‘bugs’ have been secretly planted in hundreds of thousands of household wheelie bins.

The gadgets – mostly installed by companies based in Germany – transmit information about the contents of the bins to a central database which then keeps records on the waste disposal habits of each individual address.

Already some 500,000 bins in council districts across England have been fitted with the bugs – with nearly all areas expected to follow suit within the next couple of years.

The mail article quoted above is headlined “Germans plant bugs in our wheelie bins”. This is silly at first sight: Germans are barking mad about recycling and the bugs are manufactured in Germany, but the decision to use them has been taken by elected UK authorities –or has it? The BBC reports:

The “pay as you throw” system is also backed by the Local Government Association (LGA) which has warned that council tax bills will have to rise if councils have to pay big EU fines because of poor recycling rates.

The LGA said councils faced fines of up to £150 per tonne of rubbish if they failed to meet targets under the EU landfill directive.

And this is the problem. We are essentially looking at a domestic policy problem with no repercussions on the rest of Europe and yet elected regional authorities are forced to take this measure because of an EU directive. Why?

Add to this the ongoing controversies about just how useful recycling really is and you may not mind spending the next 30 minutes watching this.


One Response to “Rubbish!”

  1. shows one being discovered.

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