Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Recycling laws, not rubbish

It appears that the Tories have taken a new approach to recycling: they are now using existing EU laws as manifesto commitments. I suppose there is a benefit to this since there is less chance of them renaging on them and telling us, like the government have, that manifesto pledges are not subject to legitimate expectation.

Households would be paid cash to recycle under a scheme proposed by the Conservatives last night.

George Osborne said he wanted to replace penalties with rewards for people who take the trouble to sort their rubbish.

In a speech today he will propose a scheme used in 500 cities and towns in the United States to encourage green behaviour.
So why did his party support fines
from the EU for exceeding landfill targets, then?
The Shadow Chancellor will point to the UK's low rate of recycling relative to other European Union countries as a major justification for changing public behaviour.

In 2005 Britain sent 22.6million tonnes of rubbish to landfill.
So? There is an excellent article by the gorgeous Timmy which sums up why recycling everything possible is not the holy grail to which our society should aspire.
Mr Osborne wants to capitalise on growing public outrage at the way councils have been encouraged to levy swingeing fines on families who fail to abide by draconian new rules.
And breathe. Come now, Trixy, you know he's a politicians and he feels the need to bullshit and deceive on a regular basis.
Right. okay. I would like to capitalise on the fact that George Osborne is being deliberately deceptive in that statement. I would like to, but I won't, capitalise on that frustration by dumping all of my rubbish on his fucking head. Or his lawn. They're both green and liable to rot, I suspect.
What annoys me here is that these 'draconian rules' are supported, were supported, and will continue to be supported by the Conservative Party.

So why are they being reported by the MSM as though it's something the Labour government thought up? They know it's not. Why, when Mr Osborne is being interviewed, don't they say 'But it's EU law which your party supported?' or 'But really, isn't the best way of stopping this outrage simply to leave the EU and govern ourselves?' Particularly by public service broadcasters....

'The Government's approach is an old-fashioned one: use the threat of fines and punitive taxation to force people to recycle,' he will say.
Well, then why did you support it when it was proposed by the European Commission?
'We've all seen how unpopular this heavy-handed approach has been with the public.
Which is the answer to the above question. 'oh, the public don't like it. But don't worry, we'll just pretend it had nothing to do with us or Brussels law making and then attack the government, safe in the knowledge that it will be reported that we wouldn't have done it if we were in government and we'll do something to change it.'
'What's more, it is extremely expensive to administer and encourages irresponsible behaviour like fly-tipping or back yard burning.'
That was mentioned to you guys at the time but you still supported it.
Mr Osborne will call for a switch to financial incentives.
'Instead of using sticks, we can use carrots instead,' he will say.
Not his money, I supposed. Easy come, easy go.
Councils must pay a £32 landfill tax for every tonne of rubbish that they cannot recycle. The Government has said it will increase by £8 a year each year until 2011, when it will be £48.
Well, yes, but this isn't new. And it isn't news to the Tory party either. Or their MEPs who voted for it. It's also not a Labour party proposal.
Mr Osborne will point to the American example where local authorities offer to share the savings from reducing their landfill bill with private companies that find ways of increasing recycling.
I don't particularly disagree with financial incentives as a way of getting things done, but in this case I am not convinced that we need to be recycling everything and I certainly don't want incinerators built on greenbelt, thanks.
One firm is RecycleBank, which offers to split the savings with local authorities if it manages to reduce the rubbish they bury.
The company pays households up to £25 a month for recycling.
Does that mean that council tax will go down? Surely that's only good if what happens to the rubbish is better than it going into landfill? This is a one-size-fits-all policy for 15 countries including the low countries who don't bury rubbish because they don't have much room.
Mr Osborne will tell the Green Alliance's summer reception in London: 'The more they recycle, the more they get paid.
That just seems far too broad brush to me.
'The best part is that none of this impacts on public expenditure in any way. 'This approach has achieved startling results. In some communities, it has increased the amount of household waste being recycled by more than 200 per cent.'
I'm thinking 'opportunity cost' here. It also does impact on public expenditure if the previous disposable income of households is being given to families who recycle, regardless of the impact or benefit of that. Because public money comes from individuals working.
He will add: 'While the poorest households were previously the least likely to recycle, as soon as they receive a financial incentive for recycling, they typically become among the most likely.'
I'm paying for lazy people to recycle. Great.
Mr Osborne will also announce that, under the Tories, landfill tax will not fall beneath £48 after 2011 to give councils and businesses greater certainty about the bills they face.
No fucking surprise there, is there! You know why they're not changing the fines? BECAUSE THEY CAN'T. That stuff about bills is just some bullshit invented to cover up for their own incompetence. Peter Lilley said of the government:
They prefer to claim paternity rather than admit impotence—the fate of the cuckold across the ages.
Well, that does also ring true here.
He will say: 'While Labour want to regulate, ban and interfere to get their way, the Conservatives want to work with people and give them incentives to act in a socially responsible way.
Like imposing fines for breaching EU targets and introducing targets on recycling of 50% for households and 70% for businesses? Some fucking carrot.
'The fight against climate change is the greatest challenge my generation faces. We will not shirk from this fight.'
The biggest challenge this generation faces is getting a politician to tell the fucking truth and not be a completely devious cunt, I think. But what do I know. More than most on recycling legislation, it would seem.

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