wheelie bins left in street
'It's a blatant con, but sadly one that is likely to catch on around the country. Councils make a big show of the fact that they're keeping or reintroducing weekly collections, and then casually add that the bins will now be much smaller. Do they think we are all fools? Everyone can see that keeping weekly collections is a completely empty gesture if the bin is half the size ... Families who cannot cram all their rubbish in will have to drive to the tip, which cannot make any sense for the environment. It will also lead to an increase in rubbish left on the street, which will mean more problems with rats, flies and smells.' -- Doretta Cocks, Campaign for Weekly Waste Collection
'While of course I am fully aware the impact we all make on our environment and always willing to contribute by doing my bit, I refuse to sit by AGAIN, and watch a bunch of jumped-up redundant bureaucrats bowing to EU missives, deliberately trying to con me and the rest of Aldershot and Farnborough ... To suggest new smaller bins are to be issued to encourage recycling is an insult to the intelligence of rats, never mind the rest of us ... It is not a solution but merely a sleight of hand con trick that pulls the wool over innocent tax payers' eyes.' -- Dean Mansfield, Aldershot resident
Following extensive national press coverage and criticism of its half-baked half-size wheelie bin policy
and further critical coverage on BBC South Today
Rushmoor was forced to issue a press release defending the indefensible.
This was then picked up by the local Surrey-Hants Star
which cited at some length comments made on David Clifford's blog, though failed to give the web address, or make mention of the extensive criticism on his blog, though did mention criticism that readers have made in letters to the Star.
Or in other words, the hair-brained scheme to replace existing wheelie bins with half-size bins has been widely criticised and has no support.
That Rushmoor has been forced to release a statement defending its ill-thought out policies, exposes the lie from Rushmoor official David Quirk when he claimed on BBC South Today (19 August 2008) that he listened to local residents. If he was listening, a press release would have gone out saying they had listened and that the policy of replacing existing wheelie bins with half-size bins had been abandoned. Instead they are talking of enforcement.
The press release also contained the amazing piece of information that by replacing existing bins with half-size bins, capacity will be increased by 50%.
Now I know there has been a serious dumbing down of education, but I did not realise it was that bad!
It is always good advice to heed, when in a hole, stop digging. For Rushmoor, it seems when in a hole, keep on lying.
The latest lie to justify replacement of existing bins is that they are at the end of their life and are falling to bits.
Rushmoor lies is though nothing new, they repeatedly lied last year during the fortnightly waste collection trial, then rigged the questionnaire that followed.
The biggest lie of all is that replacing exiting bins with smaller bins, residents will have less rubbish.
At best this is wishful thinking.
Walking along a main road last week, I saw that all the bins put out for collection were full to overflowing.
Everyone I have spoken to is against this crass stupidity. Almost everyone has said their bin is either full or more than half full and sometimes full, therefore reducing the bin size will leave them with insufficient capacity and excess rubbish that has to be disposed of.
We all know what will happen as we experienced it last year when several thousand households were put on fortnightly waste collection for a so-called trial: overflowing bins, rubbish everywhere, fly-tipping, burning of rubbish, extra trips to the local tip, increase in the population of rats and other scavengers.
Rubbish left at the side of the bins will attract foxes, cats, rats and other scavengers. Will it be collected?
The recent Congleton ruling from Ombudsman Anne Seex reiterated that a council has a legal obligation to collect refuse, and that the council has to provide the appropriate means to collect the refuse. [Houlker v Congleton Council]
Last year during the fortnightly waste fiasco, there were two hour queues at the local refuse tip. Nearby businesses were adversely effected by the traffic congestion. And do not even think of driving to the local tip in a van as you will be refused entry.
Another dumb idea is bottle baskets, in which people leave glass bottles out at the kerbside for collection. Already in Aldershot the local yobs are picking up these bottles and smashing them, leaving a trail of broken glass strewn across the street.
The policies that are being pushed would do justice to the inmates of a madhouse.
A recent House of Lords Science and Technology select committee report has shown that households account for less than 10% of waste, and most of that is what is generated by supermarkets with their excess packaging, thus we are addressing the wrong people. Not that is an excuse for not attempting to reduce household waste, but the main emphasis must be on industry and commerce.
There has yet to be any genuine attempt in the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor to either reduce waste or increase the borough's piss-poor recycling efforts. This will only be achieved through education, help and support and working with the local community, not as David Quirk has done which has been to go out of his way to antagonise the local community and threaten to beat residents with a big stick if they fail to comply with his diktats.
Quirk's efforts to date include: introducing a charge of £20 for removal of bulky household items (a service that was hitherto free), fortnightly waste collection, replacing existing wheelie bins with half-size bins.
It goes without saying that there has been no consultation on any of these half-baked policies.
Residents of Aldershot during the August Bank Holiday weekend saw the impact of one of these dumb policies. A column of black smoke and toxic fumes when an idiot set fire to a couple of sofas in the street. To make matters worse, one of Quirk's officials who was duty officer refused to attend and deal with the situation.
There is much that can be done to reduce waste and increase recycling, but sadly it is not being done.
Rushmoor has a target of 40% recycling by 2010. On Quirk's performance to date, this pathetic target would not be reached by the end of the century, let alone 2010.
If Quirk were employed in the private sector and delivered this low level of performance, he would have been fired. Performance to date: low recycling rate with no likelihood of improvement in the near future, antagonised local community whose support and cooperation is essential for a waste reduction and recycling strategy, unnecessary cost to local taxpayers of at least three-quarters of a million pounds to replace existing wheelie bins with half-size bins!
Other local authorities achieve far better results. North Kesteven, the best performing local authority for the last two years, already exceeds 50% recycling. They achieve it by working with the local community, by actually focusing on recycling and waste reduction, they have invested in waste handling, they encourage home composting, they provide clear information on what can be recycled and help and support if you need it.
The fundamental difference is that North Kesteven talks to the public and heeds what they say. For Rushmoor this would be an alien concept.
Further information and reference
Anger over smaller bins, BBC South Today, 19 August 2008
Richard Black, Call to tackle UK business waste, BBC news on-line, 19 August 2008
Lester R Brown, Plan B 2.0, Norton, 2006
Lester R. Brown, Throwaway economy in trouble, Earth Policy Institute, 30 November 2006
David Clifford, Alternate week waste collection survey, 18 July 2007
David Clifford, Rushmoor's Waste Management Panel's recommendations, 10 June 2008
David Clifford, Statement to Sunday Telegraph, 14 August 2008
Rebecca Connop Price, Small bin plan defended, Surrey-Hants Star, 28 August 2008
Kevin Dowling, Man wins right to second wheelie bin, Times on-line, 10 August 2008
David Gibbs, If we can’t cut collection we'll halve your bin size, Daily Express, 18 August 2008
Paul Hawken, Amory B Lovins & L Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism, Earthscan, 1999
Liz Hull, Family wins battle for a second bin (and it only took two years!), Mail on-line, 11 August 2008
Alastair Jamieson, Councils may hand out extra wheelie bins after landmark ruling, Telegraph, 10 August 2008
Alastair Jamieson, Want weekly rubbish collections? Then you must have a smaller bin, say councils, Sunday Telegraph, 17 August 2008
Tom Kelly, The shrinking bins, Daily Mail, 18 August 2008
Dean Mansfield, Bins plans are a 'con', letters, Surrey-Hants Star, 14 August 2008
Keith Parkins, Natural Capitalism, October 2000
Keith Parkins, Curitiba – Designing a sustainable city, April 2006
Keith Parkins, Recycling – a tale of two councils, UK Indymedia, 5 January 2007
Keith Parkins, Rushmoor lies on fortnightly waste collection, UK Indymedia, 11 June 2007
Keith Parkins, Council rigs questionnaire on fortnightly waste collection, UK Indymedia, 16 July 2007
Keith Parkins, The duty of local councils to consult, UK Indymedia, 1 August 2008
Keith Parkins, Rushmoor wheelie bin madness, UK Indymedia, 11 August 2008
Keith Parkins, Household rubbish less than ten per cent of waste, UK Indymedia, 21 August 2008
Plan aims for zero waste society, BBC news on-line, 11 March 2008
Graham Tibbetts, Smaller wheelie bins for weekly rubbish collections, Telegraph, 18 August 2008
UK 'must tackle business waste', BBC news on-line, 20 August 2008
Ernst von Weizsåcker, Amory B Lovins and L Hunter Lovins, Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use, Earthscan, 1997