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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Friday January 02, 2004
11:50 AM

Ashamed of the waste

[ #16590 ]

This morning while walking to the train station I walked past a whole row of "wheely-bins" full of Xmas rubbish and recyclable material. I am ashamed at the masses of waste generated by this country. Many people can't even be bothered to separate their waste so that at least some can be recycled to something more useful than CO2, H2O and incinerator ash.

It's really something to be ashamed of, that the G7 countries probably throw away more perfectly usable materials than most of the developing world manufactures.

We do our best to avoid unnecessary packaging (reduce), and we compost, reuse, recycle as much as possible, but it's clear that most of the country doesn't! It's a constant battle with the morons on the tills at the supermarket who want to double bag everything, or think that a banana needs to go in a small bag before it goes into a bigger one!

I gather in France, they once considered forcing people to pay for their waste removal by the kilo, suffice to say it created an uproar, and the politicians backed down. But given that where I live every tonne of waste is incinerated and the cost comes back to me in the form of local (flat rate) taxes, I think it's time to make the polluters pay a bit more for their mess.

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  • In the town I live in, the local government has contracted trash pickup to a private company. Instead of paying taxes on garbage collection, we buy special trash bags whose cost includes the cost of garbage pickup. They act sort of as stamps; the more garbage bags you use, the more you pay.

    Recycling is handled by the town, so you can recycle as much as you want without paying any more. It's actually a really good system, because every time you go to throw something out, you wonder if it could instead be re

    • It sounds like a good idea.

      Most UK towns and cities have used private contractors to collect rubbish and recyclables for a number of years. Rather than make people pay per kilo or cubic metre, the contractor simply passed on their bill to the local authority, to pay out of local taxation.

      Making people buy the bags sounds like a good idea, but I doubt it would work over here. Too many people wouldn't use the bags, or simply "fly tip" their waste else where. The Conservatives would claim it's an unfair ta

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."