Sunday, May 27, 2007

More Cats. More bags. But is anyone listening to the chorus?


It's very short, and very tabloid. But worth reading.

Thing is, will anyone pay any attention, much less do anything about it all?

ADDENDUM - A tad more:


I rather fear that this will be dropped and disposed of like yesterday's news. But considering the amounts involved, the public does deserve accountability.

Without wanting to get party political, as Shadow Environment Minister Greg Barker says: “We are entitled to ask what we are getting in return. WRAP has done some valuable work but it is not enough. We need an organisation that is more accountable and has more teeth, rather than just having more consultants, more bureaucracy and more short-term initiatives.”

I'm afraid that if this is the best that can be offered in justification, it is simply not good enough: 'WRAP spokesman Gareth Lloyd last night claimed the quango produced value for money and had met its targets to increase recycling and cut waste going to landfill. He said the salary bill had soared to pay for extra staff to cope with the increase in WRAP’s remit since it was set up seven years ago. '

This time I simply want to know what has been the ROI as a taxpayer, and enviROI as a co-dweller on this planet. I know what they have had to spend, and getting vast sums to create empires doesn't do diddly for either, and when it comes to the comms budget they have had to drive up the rates they get bonusses for improving, I'm sorry, but as an ad man the numbers simply are pathetic.

This offers an interesting complement: Recycling's green contribution questioned
Environment Agency (EA) chief executive Barbara Young has said: “recycling does not really contribute much to tackling climate change.” The comments contradict findings of a 2006 Waste & Resources Action Programme report.

I was moved to reply:

I’m sorry, but as a very confused, and hence hard to engage member of the public (what you don’t understand, or believe, makes persuasion a lot harder. And two funded quangos knocking spots off each other is unlikely to unmuddy these waters) all I need is some simple guidance on what represents good enviROI (benefit to my kids’ future) with, preferably at the same time, a decent financial ROI as a taxpayer.

I’d have to say that, as an alternative to doing nothing, recycling seems a no-brainer. What it’s costing is a much bigger issue. So it may be legitimately asked whether a slavish devotion to meeting targets is the best way other than, as this weekend’s Sunday Express seems to have raised, generating massive financial rewards for those who benefit by spending public money to boost their bonuses. Considering the PR climate and sums committed on advertising, one would blooming well expect rates to go up, so using my money to make me work for free to drive up fat cat incentive schemes seems... quaint, at best.

It’s not a matter of the EA claim saying recycling does not help mitigate climate change – as it patently can do - but simply how much of a positive it represents as a total of our consumer behaviours. And what its relative value therefore is. Especially when it comes to huge public comms budgets. It therefore seems possible that these vast sums may not have been best directed to achieve a worthwhile envROI.

And I, for one, find questioning THAT more than helpful.

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