Recycling and public incompetence

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
97 replies 4.5K views
IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
I was talking to one of our local concillors in Bangor the other night and had asked hime about recycling. He told me (and I hope this is a fair reflection - it is my understanding) that waste management was going to become a bigger and bigger problem and that if we did not meet various quoteas then we were going to be paying significant additional amounts in our rates to cover it.

From a council point of view he mentioned two problems

1. Many of the blue bins have been returned to the council with notes attached telling them where to stick them. Just so that everybody knows, it is these people that are going to cause significant rises in your rates so, if you hear of someone boasting about destroying their blue bin just remember that they are soon going to be costing you money.

2. Adults do not appear to be capable of following simple instructions about what can and can not be put in the blue bins. At first I just thought that people were being stupid but, since my brothers youngest is responsible for sorting the rubbish in their household (and makes a good job of it) I reckon that this means there is no excuse for anybody with a mental age over 5. I therefore believe that the only reason is people are just too flamin lazy to lift two bin lids instead of one. Also remember if one bin gets contaminated with cardboard or crisp wrappers then the entire load may have to be dumped ... and yes, you have got the idea, the rate payers will be charged an additional tax for the privilege of their neighbours incompetence.

If you are concerned about water rates then, given the amounts of money I have heard being mentioned you should be even more concerned with the cost of waste management (which could be a lot more than water rates).


I believe it is only in the early stages of discussion but there is a possibility that our bins will be 'tagged'. If we are not found to be recycling enough then, yet again, we will have to pay more. What concerns me about this thought (and it may be premature concern) is that if it works by weight then a household with 1 person could be penalised because they simply do not generate enough rubbish (and I will state that I could be misunderstanding).

Personally I think they should go back to a single bin for refuse and a bin for recycling. At the minute I have seen up to 3 bins outside peoples houses for emptying. I think those people should incur an additional charge, that way they would consider reducing the amount of waste that they generate.

Also remember that you can get a free composting bin from NDBC by requesting one from '[email protected]'.

Ivan
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Replies

  • SnowyOwl_2SnowyOwl_2 Forumite
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    Hi Ivan

    Yes agree that it doesn't take an awful lot of effort for people to sort their rubbish out, and as for people sending back their bins...don't comprehend that one either! They are the ones who need to be targeted and made to pay more for their rates, along with the idiot morons who still insist on throwing litter in the streets/roads/countryside.

    I moved to Newry & Mourne District Council in June last year. It being a brand new house one of the first things I had to do was get some bins. It took four phone calls for a black bin to be sent (at the cost of £40 to me, incl £10 delivery and I had to wait approximately a month for it...and in the end take a day off to wait for it to show up as it had to be signed for (that was a day of unpaid leave on top of the £40). However I am still waiting for my blue bin! The council insists that they cannot keep up with demand for them and I'll get one as it becomes available. I am being good and sorting my rubbish and taking what I can to the recycling plant. However I ended up having to chuck all my cardboard in a normal waste skip as their compactor is forever full.

    I thought I was doing my bit by making the effort but the council is seriously letting me down. Yes they will blame their supplier regards the blue bin, but what is the problem if bags of sorted recycling are left outside all those households with no blue bin and a special round done for those? (I know they have special lorries to go with the bins.) My neighbours don't bother with recycling because of the council's lack of providing bins. And why don't they get their compactor sorted out? It's really very annoying.

    My last council (Ealing) had green boxes...much smaller and easier to manage than those huge bins, and they were emptied once a week. Ordinary rubbish was collected weekly too...they just came and picked up the bags, one per household, no big bins for ordinary rubbish either. What is it with these huge bins anyway? Doesn't having such monstrosities just encourage people to fill them right up to the brim rather than think about how much they are chucking out?

    Ivan, it gets on my goat as much as it gets on yours.

    SnowyOwl

  • robnyerobnye Forumite
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    ivan,

    i had heard a rumour that there is a possibility of those people not recycling enough/at all being charged extra....

    as someone who as actively recycled for many year now, and increased what i have recycled as more resources have become available, i agree it doesnt take much to sort the 'wheat from the chaff' so to speak.
    i know the subject is mentioned at schools, but perhaps more should be done.... if the adults cant bothered then perhaps some role reversal peer pressure (kids to adults) should be encouraged.
    Many people just dont care, that spending 5 mins a day sorting what can be recycled will have a bigger impact in the end on the environment for future generations, especially the more people that get involved .

    People dont like Council taxes going up, but if coucils dont increase the amount of recycling during the next 3-5 years, then council taxes will have to go up to meet the fines laid down for reaching previoulsy set targets........ then people will complain......
    smile --- it makes people wonder what you are up to.... ;) :cool:
  • Ivan, I'm a fan of recycling, and agree wholeheartedly with the principles involved. I'd like to know if this councillor was able to give you a breakdown of the costs involved in recycling?
    A recent exposé of the costs of recycling was what made me think abouty what we're doing. It turned out that the only cost effective method of recycling at the moment is aluminium cans. These will pay for themselves, and indeed create a small amount of revenue.
    Unfortunately, the costs involved in recycling paper, plastics etc far outweigh the financial benefits. They may be kinder to the enviroment, but not to the public purse.
    For you to blame the rising cost of rates on those who refuse to recycle their newspapers, or those who mix their waste may be misguided. You should ask your council how much each recycling run costs. Price of bins, cost of collection, cost of recycling, and then ask for the profit made from each run. There can't be one. As this is public money, this information should be available to all. If the figures don't match, (which I'm confident they won't), then your council would find it very hard to justify their claims that recycling saves money.
    Again, I'm all for enviromental protection, but not if the council are going to charge me an extra hidden 'tax' each time I buy a newspaper. I'd rather use it as bog roll!
    I haven't been asked to tell you that I'm the [highlight]Board Drunk[/highlight] for this board. As the night wears on, my posts will become worse, with simple spelling mistakes, inane ramblings, and a blatant disregard for the truth. I have no authority to do anything, so there's no point asking or telling me. If you see me past midnight, please tell me to get my coat and order me a taxi.

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  • I only found out recently that when our blue boxes are emptied the binmen sort through everything to check that it should actually be there and leave behind what shouldn't. (As I've never in 3 years had anything returned I was quite pleased with myself!) However, I was talking to my upstairs neighbour about this and he said he's fed up with having stuff sent back and now refuses to recycle as it's put him off and he doesn't see the point. I really don't understand this mentality from someone who appears to be reasonably intelligent. For goodness sake, even my 8 year old knows how to turn a yoghurt pot upside down and check the number on the bottom before deciding where to put it. We now have 3 bins - green for household, brown for cardboard/plant waste (both emptied fortnightly) and blue for recycling. The garden's getting a bit cramped! :p

    Our Council is in the process of swapping everybody's green bins for new grey bins (something to do with snazzy new bin lorries I think). No prizes for guessing where all the (perfectly servicable) green bins have ended up... yep, landfill! Big fuss about it right now, think they've been told to dig them up. :D

    The idea of kids putting pressure on parents to recycle is a very good one and does happen already to a certain extent (kids make excellent naggers!). Also, I heard that some boroughs in London are trialling fines for non-recyclers which is great in principal but as it'll probably be the same people that don't bother to pay their council tax who are caught, I doubt it'll bring in much revenue! :(
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  • SimpsonSimpson Forumite
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    A recent exposé of the costs of recycling was what made me think abouty what we're doing. It turned out that the only cost effective method of recycling at the moment is aluminium cans. These will pay for themselves, and indeed create a small amount of revenue.
    Unfortunately, the costs involved in recycling paper, plastics etc far outweigh the financial benefits. They may be kinder to the enviroment, but not to the public purse.

    The problem with quoting costs for recycled materials and comparing them with the cost of virgin materials is that figures quoted for virgin never include the cost of not recycling i.e. increased refuse to be collected and disposed of.

    There is a lot said about how much it costs to recycle, but there is also a very real saving and with the increasing cost of landfill, that saving is increasing all the time.

    The recycling processes themselves can become more efficient, but like all manufacturing processes there are economies of scale (the more material you give them to process the lower the burden of overhead will become). In other words if we recycle more then it will cost less to have it recycled.
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  • All we have is green boxes. Everything goes into this one (or more depending on the size of the household) box ...no sorting what so ever...and a truck comes to pick it all up. It makes life much simpler for us recycling wise and all we do is wash up what needs to and then sling the lot in this box.
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  • Pink.Pink. Forumite
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    I can't believe the coincidence!!

    Sitting on the pc reading this thread and feeling guilty that I do very little in the way of recycling, when two gentlemen from our local council knocked on my door to ask if I'm interested in recycling.:eek: I will soon be the proud owner of a blue bin and a brown bin!

    My kids have been telling me for a while now, that we should recycle. So they'll be happy.........well, for a little while, until they realise that they have the extra job of sorting it out.

    Pink
  • Simpson,
    I'm not saying that we shouldn't recycle more, only that it's not cost effective at the moment. The point I was making was that Ivan was blaming those who don't recycle for pushing up the cost of rates.
    There is no doubt that increased levels of recycling will drive down overheads, but based on the figures I've seen so far, we are a long way from a totally cost effective method of recycling all our waste.
    The following link is to an ecology website, it provides a few pointers about how and what we recycle, and how effective this is.
    http://www.ecologycenter.org/ptf/misconceptions.html
    I haven't been asked to tell you that I'm the [highlight]Board Drunk[/highlight] for this board. As the night wears on, my posts will become worse, with simple spelling mistakes, inane ramblings, and a blatant disregard for the truth. I have no authority to do anything, so there's no point asking or telling me. If you see me past midnight, please tell me to get my coat and order me a taxi.

    Free Ebay Simple Profit/Loss Spreadsheet. PM me for a download link.
  • SnowyOwl_2SnowyOwl_2 Forumite
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    A friend of a friend tells me that our sealed landfills will in the future be dug up for our descendants to extract the aluminium because natural resources will be depleted. I found that quite shocking, it would be so much better if it didn't go to landfill in the first place, and even better if we could think of a better, greener substitute for it.

  • D.A.D.A. Forumite
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    Be glad you *can* recycle! My wife contacted Lisburn council this week to ask when we would be getting a recycling bin. "In the summer - maybe", was the reply.

    And bear in mind this will *only* be for paper. Absolutely nothing else will be recycled by Lisburn Council. Bunch of incompetent fools.
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