Thursday, 7 March 2013

Waste of effort

As previously noted on this blog, the only true beneficiaries of 'recycling' domestic waste are those companies with a stake in waste collection and processing. The EU directive concerned only sets targets for the percentage of recyclable waste collected, not the percentage actually recycled. As a consequence, as long as waste collection authorities collect recyclables separately, they are then free to dispose of the arisings as they wish - as fuel for a CHP plant, to landfill, or for sale. Further, as the High Court in Cardiff has now ruled,  there is no requirement to split the collection of recyclables. All recyclable waste can go in a single bin. 

A consortium of green do-gooders and minor waste industry players had sought judicial review to enforce the separate collection of five different recyclable waste streams. They failed. What's notable, however, is that all the big waste players were absent from the joint action; the international manufacturers and patent-holders of wheely bins, the constructors and operators of massive and expensive automated waste sorting plants (MRFs), the makers of waste collection vehicle bodies and gear, the manufacturers of anaerobic digestion plants were nowhere to be seen. Indeed, they will find the High Court's ruling most unwelcome, and the attempted action ill-advised. 

The big boys prefer to operate through the industry bodies, through Whitehall and by lobbying Mr Pickles. They cultivate waste management contacts with local councils, and they seek to persuade all concerned that the Waste Directive requires massive public investment to satisfy.  Some councils and administrations are more gullible than others. My own, Lewisham, has only ever required the separation of two waste streams. Other councils have jumped the gun and already issue a plethora of bags, boxes and containers. The recent High Court ruling now leaves such eager gold-platers with the prospect of explaining to voters why they're spending so much money when there's no need to. Even DEFRA admits that much of the recyclable waste collected is unusable, unsaleable or there's no market for it.


Weekend Yachtsman said...

"the only true beneficiaries of 'recycling' domestic waste are those companies with a stake in waste collection and processing."


And the only true beneficiaries of "green power" are the manufacturers of windmills, the owners of the land on which they are erected, and the contractors who build and service them. Everyone else, in every way, is a loser.

How long are we going to put up with this and everything else like it?

Anonymous said...

I wrote to my MP on this very subject. He passed my concerns on to the council, who rejected my concerns. I will now force the issue with an FOI request for recycling and then another letter will be forthcoming.

Coney Island

Anonymous said...

R, the mafia runs the EU - try buying fags, booze, Mozarella cheese or minced 'Beef' dinners at your local corner shop - knock off - you betcha.

I am not sure if the real EU mafia HQ is in Brussels or Naples.

Recycling going the same way, the cowboys over here are called Veolia.
And German plastics manufacturers are making a killing.

You couldn't make it up, Brussels does it for us and everybody and his dog in Westminster tells you - "the EU is good for you!"
Good for 'them' more like.

The EU, run by cowboys for the benefit of cowboys and no one else.

English Pensioner said...

We never do an "end-to-end" assessment of green projects. I just wonder how green is the convoy of four lorries that come down our street to collect the general rubbish and the three boxes? How much fuel does it use, how much fuel is wasted by other vehicles in the queue trying to pass the convoy along the main roads? How much fuel is wasted in operating the sorting and recycling plants and shipping the waste around the country?
When all these extras are taken into account, I suspect it would be greener to tip the lot in the nearest landfill site.

Boldfield said...

As a mining enginneer I am looking forward to mining the old wast dumps so please put all thos nice toxic metals and plastic rubbish in landfill.

Anonymous said...

English pensioner - exactly.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"I suspect it would be greener to tip the lot in the nearest landfill site."

And I suspect that, in practice, that is what actually happens to a lot of it.

G. Tingey said...

If true, this is a disgrace, as waste SHOULD be recycled properly & re-used in the best manner(s) possible.
It isn't being done & we have another corporate stitch-up.