Friday, 26 September 2008

There's a war on, you know

Dig for Victory poster by Mary Tunbridge PST0696Apparently, sorting your recyclables is as hard as completing a Sudoku puzzle. (Via: The Good Life) And, I can well believe it too, but refuse to get my head round either of them. It's also said that, "The average UK family spends the equivalent of one working week a year sorting rubbish into plastic, glass, paper, cardboard and compost."

And you have to ask yourself, why seemingly sane people readily accept this sort of mindless torture. And most do accept it, unquestioningly, because these never ending tasks are being marketed and packaged as "necessary" as if there's a war on.

Well, because there's a war - several wars - on; against waste, against climate change, against terrorists and, it seems to me, against anything and anyone else who's deemed shifty-eyed and anti-profit here!

At least we haven't (yet) been issued with wheelie bins in this area, nor are we (yet) being threatened with fines if we throw too much stuff away, but last week, the New Forest District Council (who charge each "average" household around £1,400 a year), sent a letter to all households, vaguely inferring future bad shit upon us - note the irony: a letter, printed on dead trees - because some people had put trash out before the proper time and day.

Despite the "if you didn't do it, we apologise", mantra that was in the letter, this is still the same as punishing the whole class just because one child is naughty. That was always been wrong and an injustice, because not all of the people are, or can be, responsible for the actions of one.

Next they'll be asking us to rat on each other about refuse "offences" (like they want council workers to stop people for minor offences and members of the public to bitch at smokers, as they already do at dog owners) and such measures can do no good at all in communities that once, were mutually supportive. People have become nastier and less tolerant in Britain since I last lived here and, I fear that this is one more example of social engineering.

Remember, "United we stand, divided we fall". United communities are strong and stand together against bad administrations. They'd rather keep us going for each other's throats so that they can make us believe we need more rules, more laws, more policing, more CCTV cameras, etc. Accidental? I think not.

The council also say that "Most of the waste goes to the Energy Recovery Facility at Marchwood where it is burnt to generate electricity."

It does what? And WTF kind of marketing bullshit name is an "Energy Recovery Facility" anyway? If they mean a choking chimney, an insidious incinerator, then they aught to have the decency to tell it like it is. Of course, most people actually fall for this crap, which says a lot for the collective intelligence.

Maybe it's just what I'm reading into it, but they seem to be proud of this use of antiquated methods. Out-of-date ideas are certainly normal around here, but this means we have a council who is either totally ignorant of advances in thinking, or actively does not give a shit and, worse, is happy to let the generally oblivious public believe that this is somehow a good thing.

Recently, a similar incineration system was proposed in another area of the south of England and ecologists there are campaigning to have it stopped.

My Tenerife readers know all about the major objections to incineration.

Apart from not mentioning if the energy generated makes the whole process worthwhile (I'm sure this is not an accidental omission), not just in terms of cost, but of C02 and other emissions of burning compared to landfill:

"As a recent European study shows, when the full extent of carbon emissions coming out of the stack of incinerators are considered, incinerators emit significantly more greenhouse gas emissions for each kWh of electricity generated than coal-fired power plants." (Source, Incinerators vs Zero Waste: Energy and the Climate (PDF)

... moreover, if the local council, by their own admission is burning most of the waste, then why, oh why, do households need to separate the trash into 1001 (give or take) different categories before they take it anyway?

As The Telegraph also ask, Will recycling your rubbish save the planet?

Wanna know what I think? Not a flamin' hope, because it's all a sham.

The Guardian backs me up too (Via: Anorak), for even more reasons:

According to the researchers, people who regularly recycle rubbish and save energy at home are also the most likely to take frequent long-haul flights abroad. The carbon emissions from such flights can swamp the green savings made at home, the researchers claim.

This [unnecessary] demand on the part of the council also creates the utterly ridiculous situation that people have cupboards full different types of trash and different coloured rubbish sacks that would make even the most "balanced" among us appear to have an obsessive compulsive hoarding disorder and, then spend half of their waking hours "processing" garbage.

I'm not even going to begin to explain the weekly "ritual", but among the old, who make up most of the population in this area and, who may have the tendency and, are easily spooked into such sheeplike behaviour, it's creating a very real problem, because, combined with a lot of time on their hands, this has become a major concern. They really, really fret over it actually.

They also perceive that they don't have space left in their rabbit-hutch sized homes for useful things, like food and household supplies. So they won't buy economical sizes, which means they spend more money unnecessarily (ironically, smaller sizes also means more packaging waste) and then they become really quite frighteningly mean and cut back on essentials.

Even if it's only a side effect, having people spend such a disproportionate amount of their focus on such mundane matters, does distract people from what's really going on and I don't think the authorities mind that at all.

It pisses me off even more that every Thursday, not one, but TWO different refuse trucks come round (yes, double the petrol too) to pick up the different coloured rubbish sacks. Once again, the brainwashed idiots unquestioningly accept and even defend what they're being told about that need.

Alright, maybe it does need two trucks for the quantity, but how about making that actually useful to the customer, say by having two collections on two different days of the week instead of us having to live knee-deep in shit. But no, we get threatened if we do not conform and they keep threatening to stretch it out to one collection every two weeks. And we pay for this?

The refuse is collected and processed, of course, by different profit-making sub-contractors, not the actual public administration, so the real purpose of separating the refuse (if there is a purpose), starts to emerge.

Then, if you pay an additional annual fee, another one will come round, in a different truck (more gas), probably from yet another different company, on a Monday, to pick up garden refuse.

Does anyone see any environmental benefits here, because I certainly don't.

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