Here's a little snippet that caught my eye and got on my nerves …
£200 to empty your dustbin
Householders are to be charged for the collection of non-recyclable rubbish, under Department for Environment plans. Councils could charge up to £200 to empty bins, to encourage recycling.
Huh? If it's "non-recyclable", then what on earth else are you supposed to do with it other than stick it in your bin?! And how can the councils "encourage recycling" of rubbish that is non-recyclable?!
This is such evident nonsense that it may be the case that the freebie London newspaper that I read it in has just got it wrong. Perhaps they meant 'recyclable' ie. the complete opposite of what they actually wrote. But I'd still disagree with it.
On a practical basis, are council workers going to sort through your bins to work out what you could have recycled and what you had no choice but to chuck out?
Why is the Department just looking at rubbish on the way in to households? What about all the junk mail, unnecessary packaging etc that households never asked to come through their door in the first place?! Where is the action against the profiteering companies whose aggressive marketing creates so much rubbish?
As usual, the urgent need to protect our environment is channelled into punitive action against ordinary people rather than effective action against the real, big-scale polluters and wasters. I don't hear of planned government action against businesses (such as the one I work for) which recycles precious little of its paperwork and produces too much of it to start with.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favour of recycling, and I do it myself. I'd like to encourage more people to do so. When we first introduced recycling on our estate about three years ago, the Council told us that the Tenants' and Residents' Association would get some money back according to how much residents recycled. That would be a good 'encouragement' - carrot rather than stick - but we never saw a penny of the money.
Oh, and one more thing … Has the Department really not considered the possibility that its plan might encourage people to dump their rubbish elsewhere than in their bin?! And how will the council penalise non-payers? Refuse to collect their rubbish? That would then become a threat to the health of the immediate environment.
Oh, and one more one more thing ... As my mate Yvonne said this afternoon - Paying for your rubbish collection? What's your Council Tax for, then?!