Showing posts with label Landfill Directive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Landfill Directive. Show all posts

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Sort It Out!

Like much of the country my refuse collections have changed to copious wheelie bins which are collected on different weeks according to type. I currently have five bins in which to sort different items. The reasons for this change have been well-documented; the local council’s priority is to appease the EU rather than their own electorate. This is something acknowleged by my own council (page 10 - my emphasis):
8. Landfill Tax

8.1.1. Landfill tax is to have a ceiling level of £80 per tonne by 2014/15 – although no further measures were added to this existing commitment by the national waste review. Landfill tax is now the main fiscal instrument encouraging the diversion of waste from landfill. In 2011/12 landfill tax, set at £56 per tonne, cost Oxfordshire County Council over £6 million, an increase of around £3 million since 2006/7.
8.1.2. Total expenditure on landfill tax has increased despite overall waste arisings within Oxfordshire having dropped since 2007. Added to this, increased recycling and composting levels have meant that there has been a sharp decrease in the amount of household waste sent to landfill. This has helped reduce the financial impact of the escalating landfill tax rate, but it still remains a significant proportion of the costs of waste management.
I don't disagree with the concept of recycling per se, but personal objections to the undemocratic reasons for the current system has led me to ignore the council's intentions. I don't sort out rubbish - it all goes in whatever bin is due for collection that week. Thus de facto I still have weekly bin collections. In addition I also microwaved the 'chips' that are inserted underneath into the bin's lip.

As insignificant as these actions may seem costing the council money by disregarding recycling targets, thus adding to landfill, forces them to raise extra revenue. The more they have to do this the trickier it is for them to get away with it. One person ignoring recycling demands is an irritation; many ignoring them is a crisis. It's a pretty damning indictment of a country's affairs where political rebellion is conducted via its bin collections.

For around three years the indications were that the council were relatively relaxed about this compared to some, however this week stickers (pictured above) have now started to appear on non-recycling bins, including mine.

A quick perusal of neighbours' bins show that some have stickers and some don't. Those that don't are empty and those that do are only partially empty. Clearly the conclusion must be made that binmen are now manually sorting out the rubbish before emptying the bin into the cart. It's a strong indication that South Oxfordshire Council are now seeking to become tougher on their recycling policies as it "remains a significant proportion of the costs of waste management". One senses a battle in the not-too-distant future.

And it is with some irony that the plastic sticker the council have used telling me to "sort it out" is very likely to be non-recyclable.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Beware Of The Leopard

As regular readers will be aware I'm currently in the process of moving house. This has meant I've had to tidy my current place up a little - basically finish off those little DIY jobs that I'd always intended to do but never got around to completing. And as I'm downsizing slightly a couple of trips to the local rubbish tip recycling centre is required.

Now what used to be sometime ago a relatively simple visit is no longer. No way. There are more signs telling you what you can't do than there are rubbish skips. Everything, but everything has to be sorted into the correct bin of which there are countless numbers of them; a process which means disposing of your rubbish takes many times longer and turns you effectively into an unpaid council worker - the length of time needed creating long queues of cars waiting to get in. The landfill skip is made as inconvenient as possible to get to - so much so they might as well have a 'beware of the leopard' sticker on it.

Knowing this, I thought I would be cunning (or so I thought) and turn up as soon as they open this morning when it wouldn't be busy. Now as it turned out that was a big mistake. Being the only car there, I was significantly outnumbered by copious numbers of chaps in hard hats and fluorescent uniforms manning each bin, one of whom took a great deal of interest in what I was disposing of. At first he wanted to inspect every black bag I had and 'helpfully' direct me to the correct bin...then we got to my old television:

He asks: "Have you cut the plug off? We can't accept it without the plug being cut off".

Me: "Er no I didn't know you had to. I don't have any wire cutters on me, do you have a pair I can borrow".

Him "No, you have to use your own. We won't accept it with a plug. What's that?" (pointing at something else in my car)

Me: "A couple of sheets of Plasterboard"

Him: "We can't take that, it's recyclable  and we don't have the bin for it and it can't go in landfill - you'll have to take it to [a centre that's 30 miles away]. What are those, are they car batteries?

Me: No, they're UPS ones.

Him: "You can't dispose of those here, we only accept car batteries, you'll have to go to [a different centre altogether which is 15 miles in the opposite direction]"

At this point I was very tempted to chuck him in the landfill skip. So more than half of my rubbish was refused and I was directed to go onto two different other places that are 45 miles apart. Lucky petrol is dead cheap these days isn't it?

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Quote Of The Day

An interesting use of logic reached me via my inbox last week. A UKIP candidate due to stand in the local elections asked Oxford City Labour Councillor Delia Sinclair (who incidentally has been investigated for failing to declare an interest) the following question:
"Why can't we have a return to weekly waste collections?"
A fair and reasonable question I think. And the response from Councillor Sinclair?
"Weekly collections are already in place on an alternative weekly basis."
Its Orwellian beauty is truly genius. And it wouldn't do to mention the elephant of course.

Friday, 30 September 2011


It's conference season so we have another initiative, this time Eric Pickles proposing to reward councils financially who return back to weekly collections:
Town halls are to be shamed into bringing back weekly bin collections, it was revealed yesterday.

In a victory for householders, ministers unveiled a £250million fund to restore them.
Laughably, Pickles then says this:
‘Labour’s solution was to bully councils into fortnightly collections. My view is this goes beyond bins – it’s about a question of trust between politicians and the public.
A question of trust? If Pickles really meant that he would have said something like this instead:
Because of the EU landfill Directive and its subsequent targets to reduce landfill, councils have altered their waste collections accordingly. In order to return back to weekly collections the Government will pay the councils' EU fines if their exceed their landfill allocation (currently £150 per tonne over). Don't ask me where this money will come from, I don't know.
Effectively this coalition government has increased our contribution to EU by £250m. Meanwhile, 1000 Royal Navy personnel will be made redundant today.