Posted tagged ‘rubbish’

Throwing away localism?

June 15, 2011

An excuse to show my favourite bit of graffiti

Unless you’ve been buried under the nation’s burgeoning mountain of waste, which apparently is spilling over from landfills to cover our streets and will continue to do so unless it’s disposed of weekly, you will have heard that the government have made a bit of a u-turn when it comes to the issue of weekly bin collections.

Eric Pickles has been championing the case for weekly bin collections for years now, and decided that there was no way he was going to sit back and allow local authorities to decide for themselves how often the rubbish should be collected in their areas.  After all, they can’t possibly know what local people really want or how much better weekly collections would be, so he issued something of an announcement to say that it would be so: weekly bin collections for all.

The thing is, nobody managed to explain to him that this might cost a few quid.  In fact, it might cost around £140million, or about 7927ish experienced staff nurses (I’ve always wanted to find an opportunity to describe things in this way, ever since local government “waste” started being described in such terms). (more…)

What a load of rubbish

April 13, 2011

So, when it gets taken by the truck it doesn't just vanish?

There is one service that, more than any other, excites the passions of our local populations.


Councils spend an inordinate amount of money picking up our rubbish and then, more importantly, finding somewhere to dispose of it. This is a very expensive business and also an issue of major environmental concern.

Which is why local authorities work very hard to manage the flow of rubbish, encourage recycling and generally try everything they can to reduce the amount of rubbish we are throwing into the ground or burning. The Government support this by charging councils for every tonne of rubbish we put into the ground and setting targets for things like recycling. In general dumping the rubbish is more expensive than collecting it.

The Government and local councils are in this together.

In local government, we know that if we don’t reduce the amount of rubbish we dump the costs will keep rising and long term providing a waste collection service will become unsustainable. Central Government need local government to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill or the country will be in a very bad way.

So why, when we are in this together, have the DCLG and DEFRA taken the past week as an opportunity to fight with local government? Why is localism an appropriate response to most problems but not that of waste? Why are the market incentives so beloved of this Government not sufficient in this area? And why do their criticisms not make any sense with each other?