Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Joining up thinking?

Conservative think tank urges recycling reform

I fear I find almost anything from any political party (or the odd new breed of separation stages, be it think tanks or quangos) suspect, but this report smacks of common sense. At least, as summarised here. I'll get around to reading it (57pp) one day.

As, with renewables, there is much good, honest engineering thinking - 'Our waste system has developed piecemeal over the past 150 years without ever being reformed properly" - to assess the enviROI from instigation to operation that will be into many administrations hence, I just hope the number crunchers are up to the task and are allowed to do a proper job without 'influences' based on short-termism or lobbying from subsidy junkies.

I really hope it can be reformed, as the current piecemeal efforts are serving neither planet nor public understanding of what can be one to help it at all. But let's hope there is a political will to be honest about consequences without trying to please all, and right away, with fudges.

It will take an upfront hit to see benefits later on. But... have we the money now? There will always be...consequences.


Telegraph Letters - Fine way to collect rubbish
SIR – At last saner voices seem to be prevailing in the debate over the best way to collect and recycle rubbish from the nation’s doorsteps (“Household waste bills warning”, report, July 20).
Policy Exchange is correct in suggesting that fortnightly collections encourage recycling as long as they are accompanied by a weekly collection for food waste. That is the system run in our part of north London, and we are now the second-best recycler in the capital, with an overall recycling rate of 44 per cent.
It is also right to highlight the punitive role of government fines for the extra rubbish we send to landfill. This is why councils put three wheelie bins on your doorstep. It is not because council managers like to torment residents with a baffling variety of bins, but because recycling at the earliest stage possible (on the doorstep) helps us to fend off government fines further down the line.

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