Soviet-Style Recycling

For some reason I’ve been sent an unsolicited email by an outfit calling themselves BusinessWaste.co.uk. I can only assume they think the contents make them look good. Do they? Let’s take a look.

Whole lorries full of domestic waste are being sent to landfill instead of going for recycling because people are just not separating their rubbish.

This is particularly case where a round has a large proportion of communal bins where the actions of just a few recycling refuseniks can spoil an entire housing estate’s recycling efforts, a national waste and recycling company says.

So there is a recycling system in place that can be rendered useless if only a few members of the public don’t comply with the requirements. Whoever devised such a system should be fired immediately and never employed again in any position other than perhaps to collect rocks from ploughed fields. Anybody – and I mean anybody – who has worked with the general public knows that no matter how hard you try to implement anything, there will be a substantial minority who through stupidity, malice, or both will simply not cooperate.

According to BusinessWaste.co.uk, the only solution could be lessons in domestic recycling funded in partnership between local authorities and the major waste companies in order to get the message across.

So the system doesn’t work because human beings don’t behave as the system expects them to. The “only solution” is re-education camps. Sorry, didn’t the Soviet Union end some time back?

“The truth of the matter is that only around 45% of domestic refuse goes to recycling these days,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall,

Is this good or bad? Anyone saying that 100% of domestic refuse should be recycled is engaged in religious worship not reasonable inquiry. We probably should recycle something, but we definitely shouldn’t recycle everything: for each material (or group of materials) we need to work out whether recycling it uses more resources (in terms of energy and cost) than simply burying or incinerating it. Perhaps 45% is too low but this is something that needs to be proved, not merely asserted.

“and one of the major reasons that we’ve failed to get this figure higher is that people still don’t know how to recycle.

Then the system of multiple bins with different collection days at varying frequencies is too complicated or confusing. Whose fault is that?

“And worse than that – there’s people who just don’t care.”

Hence the need for re-education camps and, if necessary, liquidation.

BusinessWaste.co.uk is already well aware that there is resistance to recycling from certain sections of society who are convinced – quite wrongly – that climate change and challenges to natural resources are a “con”, and that there’s no need to change lifestyles.

Who says they’re wrong? Somebody with a deep financial interest in their being wrong? Uh-huh.

“It doesn’t help when we have politicians who say we can ignore the opinions of experts, because this is one thing where all the world’s experts agree,” says Hall.

In other words, experts – such as Mr Hall – should be the ones setting policy and nobody should be allowed to question them. Lovely.

But it’s areas where the message hasn’t got through that practical lessons in recycling can help.

Citizens must undergo a minimum hundred hours garbage sorting, unpaid. For their own good.

One recent example where there’s been such a call is in the Berkshire town of Reading, where some domestic waste collections are so contaminated with the wrong kind of refuse that there is no option but to send the entire load to the town’s already straining landfill sites.

Build more landfill then. Oh we can’t, because of EU regulations written to address issues specific to Denmark and The Netherlands. But wait! We can, because we’re leaving: get digging.

In one estate in the town, communal recycling bins are left overflowing with general waste, and there’s also a problem with vermin, the Get Reading news website reports.

In other words, local governments, egged on by rent-seekers like Mr Hall, have taken a garbage collection system that worked well and turned it into one that doesn’t, then added rats.

The situation has got so bad, some residents are calling for lessons from their council to show their neighbours how to use the bins.

That’s one idea. Another is to give the council lessons in effective waste management which takes into account the whims of the public. Then Mr Hall can be put to work cleaning the insides of the bins that have just been emptied under the new system, and when he’s finished doing that he can start on the garbage trucks.

It’s a call that BusinessWaste.co.uk supports, because it means that the end result could be an end to people’s time and effort being wasted, and an increase in local recycling rates.

And let me guess: BusinessWaste.co.uk just so happens to provide such lessons. For a fee, of course.

Who’s going to pay?

As Meatloaf sang, you took the words right out of my mouth.

“Of course, there’s the problem of funding,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall, “And that’s where partnerships between councils and the major waste service providers could work wonders.

The partnership being the taxpayer coughs up for the lessons and Mr Hall’s company delivers them. Cha-ching!

“It’s in everybody’s interest to get this off the ground,” he says.

Well, it’s certainly in your interest. I’m not sure about everybody’s.

And, of course, there are savings to be made by not sending whole lorries full of waste to landfill, BusinessWaste.co.uk points out, saying that burying rubbish in the ground is an expensive business, and half-hearted council campaigns tend to fail miserably.

Landfills are expensive? Then why does the EU need to impose regulations and fines to discourage their use? Why does it need supra-national cajoling to get people recycling if the economic argument is already made?

As Reading resident Mark Williams told Get Reading, it’s the same on a local level where clean-up costs are more expensive that teaching people to get it right in the first place: “It will cost them more when they have to get it cleared up. The rats will come back so it’s an ongoing problem,” he told his local news service.

I know what’s happened here. Local governments have been told to recycle instead of dumping everything into landfills, and that requires sorting the rubbish. It is a near-certainty that the most cost-effective and efficient way of doing this would be to take everything to a giant, industrial-sized sorting facility and do it all there. But that would require capital investment as well as operational costs, and councils have blown their budgets on Diversity Outreach Coordinators and supporting fashionable lefty causes. So they’ve simply decided to instruct the citizenry to sort their rubbish at home in their own time and at their own cost, ignoring the obvious concerns that 1) perhaps millions of people individually rinsing out jam jars under the hot water tap probably isn’t energy-efficient and 2) some people are just not going to bother. Usually people declare that the sorting of rubbish takes no effort at all, but alas this idea is rather disproved by the fact that there seem to be people who can’t be arsed to do it. Sure, they may be being lazy but that also proves the sorting requires effort. Perhaps somebody ought to have considered this effort before switching the entire nation’s rubbish collection system to one which relies heavily on not a single person being bone-idle. This is Britain, not Japan.

From leaflet campaigns to door-knocking and practical demonstrations, a multi-pronged approach could really bring forth results, BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall explains.

This idiot really thinks the problem is people not being lectured enough by the government on environmental issues.

“And where the adults won’t listen, we can take the message into schools,” he says.

Start the brainwashing early, comrades! Let’s create a whole new generation of Pavlik Morozovs!

“Children and young people have traditionally been the standard bearers when it comes to changing adult habits on recycling.

So the people most receptive to your ideas are those whose education is incomplete and whose brains are not yet fully developed. What’s that telling you?

“After all, they’re the generation that’s going to have to clear up this mess we’re in.”

Aye. They’ll be the ones paying the price for your dingbat policies, too.

With millions of British people getting their recycling spot-on week-in, week-out. It’s a shame that there are a few who simply don’t get it right and wreck everybody’s efforts.

Wreckers! You couldn’t make it up.

Also, if I’d designed a system with a crucial, fundamental, and glaring obvious design flaw I’d probably be expected to say something a bit more substantial than “it’s a shame”, as if kitty just died of old age.

“It’s these people we have to reach,” says Hall, “The message is everything.”

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

This is a problem entirely of the government’s own making, a government that has been advised by rent-seeking idiots like Mr Hall whose religious-like devotion to recycling is surpassed only by his enthusiasm for treating citizens as if he was living in the Soviet Union, it was 1935, and Stalin had just appointed him head of the NKVD.

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23 thoughts on “Soviet-Style Recycling

  1. “So they’ve simply decided to instruct the citizenry to sort their rubbish at home in their own time and at their own cost”

    Yes, you and your time are worthless. After all what else are you going to do? Watch TV more? Not vote for the local council of any shade? Socialist Labour and the equally socialist Tories are all going to do exactly the same thing. Plus, when we finally get to leave the EU you can bet councils will still argue that landfill sites are ‘against the law’ even if that law could well, with our leaving, be junked. But then we probably will keep all EU laws as our lazy MPs can’t vibe arsed to do anything for the money.

  2. Here in my part of France clear plastic rubbish bags (for communal or individual bins) can be obtained at no charge from la Mairie, so that refuse collectors can see contents and determine if they should go to recycling or not. Thus a communal bin full need not go to landfill because of a few who do not comply.

    Additionally, with the exception of glass bottles and a very short list of other things like batteries, small electrical goods, garden waste, just about everything recyclable goes into the ONE recycling bag and bin. This makes compliance very easy.

    Triage of the various recyclable stuff is done at the waste handling plant.

    Increased compliance always comes when it is made easy.

    The problem with the UK, it seems, is the Men of System want the citizen to do the triage work. This may then reduce costs so that more money can be spent on important stuff that citizens really want, like glossy colour magazines extolling the virtues of the local council, EU liaison Officers, climate outreach operatives and foreign policy advisers.

    Also. I live in a small town and there is a rubbish collection EVERY week day: recyclable collection Wednesdays, normal rubbish the other four days.

    The equivalent of Community Charge in France is about 20% to 30% lower than in the UK and rubbish collection is outsourced to private firms as with the UK. Why is it the French can manage this in a Country that is far bigger in area but with a similar population, yet rubbish collection seems entirely beyond the competence of the British?

  3. Bad comms doesn’t help:

    The council had greatly increased the scope of what could be recycled. I only found out because I decided to go check the website. It’d been like that for months.

    Either they didn’t bother telling us – or, ironically, the message was in the midst of the glossy propaganda crap that gets immediately filed in the green bin.

    A little while later, they put stickers inside the bin lid telling us about the increased scope.

  4. BusinessWaste.co.uk is already well aware that there is resistance to recycling from certain sections of society who are convinced – quite wrongly – that climate change and challenges to natural resources are a “con”, and that there’s no need to change lifestyles.

    Recycling to re-use resources and avoid pollution, I’m down with that.

    I think dangerous MMGW is utter bollocks. Leftist cockrot as Ecks put it.

    BusinessWaste would have pissed off one of the folks that might have been interested in co-operating, if they’d sent that to me.

    “certain sections of society”

    Ignorant, patronising twats.

  5. Agree wholeheartedly with all of this. I just wonder – and perhaps there are engineering reasons why not – but living in an area subject to coastal erosion, why stuff that goes to landfill can’t be used to build up selected areas of the coast?

  6. As an interim measure, until the automated waste sorting system can be built I suggest the diversity outreach professionals be redeployed to do the work. They are, after all, all rubbish and good at putting people into boxes so obviously they can also put rubbish in to boxes well

  7. Socialist Labour and the equally socialist Tories are all going to do exactly the same thing.

    Ain’t that the truth.

    Plus, when we finally get to leave the EU you can bet councils will still argue that landfill sites are ‘against the law’ even if that law could well, with our leaving, be junked. But then we probably will keep all EU laws as our lazy MPs can’t vibe arsed to do anything for the money.

    That too.

  8. Why is it the French can manage this in a Country that is far bigger in area but with a similar population, yet rubbish collection seems entirely beyond the competence of the British?

    I’m with you on French rubbish collection: vastly superior.

  9. A good old-fashioned fisking. It still warms my heart to see one.

    Yeah, you don’t see them so much any more, but for me they were always one of the best aspects of blogging. I love doing them, I have to say.

  10. Agree wholeheartedly with all of this. I just wonder – and perhaps there are engineering reasons why not – but living in an area subject to coastal erosion, why stuff that goes to landfill can’t be used to build up selected areas of the coast?

    Nah, rubbish – even compressed – would have no structural integrity and would just get washed out to sea. There really isn’t much wrong with burying it provided:

    1) You have the space (Britain does, easily).
    2) You line the pit to prevent soil contamination (easy).
    3) You collect the methane (not especially difficult).

    The reason people don’t like landfill is because they think everything can and should be recycled and they simply don’t like the idea of a hole in the ground full of rubbish. The problem is they’ve been sold an alternative by the likes of Mr Hall here which is both expensive and unworkable.

  11. I had a Christmas and New Year holiday period in Mud Island a few years ago. Having my family staying over as guests and being an early bird I cleaned up and done the bins after a few festive parties. The whole management of waste stream from domestic handling and local dumping was classic cultural marxist indoctrination culminating in a visit to a local wind swept car park with various rubbish receptacles that required more sorting never mind that everything was already overloaded and blowing in the wind.

    What a complete fucking disaster and health hazard zone the whole thing was. I knew at that point as I froze my nuts off, walking between the car and the dumpster and avoiding contact with the soiled nappies sticking out that the poms really have lost the plot.

  12. I’m getting increasingly sick of this soft-fascist country where everywhere Big Mother is watching. Shame that Trump’s clampdown on immigration will make it harder even for us Brits to go there, even though it is part of the Anglosphere. Switzerland or Canada maybe. Nowhere is perfect of course but the UK seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel and is heading in a downwards direction.

  13. Shame that Trump’s clampdown on immigration will make it harder even for us Brits to go there, even though it is part of the Anglosphere. Switzerland or Canada maybe.

    Just over the border of Switzerland inside France. 😉

  14. In my case it is pure malice.

    I used to sort my recycling when it meant a special trip to the local supermarket to put the stuff in bins. Once it became compulsory it had so many rules I wondered if I would need a training course to be able to comply. Obviously they think so but it won’t help for me as because it is malice I would rather spend my time putting things inside recyclable items where it will only be found if someone was to check every item as they picked it up. Not very cost effective methinks.

    In my old age I seem to have more time to spend fucking up their poorly laid plans and seem better at it than them. If they didn’t have those people with guns at their beck and call then things would be much worse for them as I would be making my distain for them a lot more obvious.

    The only things I get for my council tax is bins, plod and fire. The rest is taken for them to keep themselves in jobs without my agreement.

  15. “The rest is taken for them to keep themselves in jobs without my agreement.”

    I get your point and am with you all the way comrade but I think you have the wrong argument. They do have your consent, albeit by stealth, it is now down to you to withdraw your consent. It will make for a good YouTube but I don’t fancy your chances otherwise.

  16. The technology exists to sort mixed rubbish. Is it too expensive to implement? Or is there some other problem?

    As for UK landfill capacity, Bjorn Lomborg calculated that the UK has some 8 cubic kilometres of available landfill — enough, without recycling, to take all the country’s rubbish well into next century.

  17. I had a thought related to that, Theo, sparked by Tim’s point about whether 45% is good or bad.

    I’m guessing there’s a point where we recycle (and biodegrade etc) enough that the rate of landfill produced drops off so much that storing it could never be a problem.

    Are we on the path to that already? If we’re doing say 45%, and that improves to 60% by 2050, 80% by 2100, 95% by 2200, perhaps at some point the total projected landfill use will never be enough to matter. Like a graph of total landfill that tends to a horizontal asymptote, but never gets there.

    “only around 45%” might sound scary and bad, but it might actually mean we are ahead of where we need to be to head off any significant trouble.

    That’s assuming we don’t one day end up with affordable tech that can “mine” and cleanse the landfill anyway.

  18. The technology exists to sort mixed rubbish. Is it too expensive to implement?

    As I said in the post, the councils don’t want to shell out for the capital investment and pay the running costs when they can simply draft the citizenry into working for free.

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