The usual bollocky, bollocky, nonsense.

English district councils spend £1 in every £3 of council tax revenue on gathering and disposing of household rubbish, figures obtained by the Guardian show.

So, first be deliberately obtuse about the money. Council tax revenue is about 25% of total council revenue. So we\’re really saying that about 8% of council revenue is spent on household waste.

Anti-waste campaigners have condemned the cost as too high and criticised local government for not doing enough to cut waste. According to the figures, councils in England and Wales spent £4.5bn in 2007-08 dealing with refuse, including collection, landfill and recycling.

And before we started all this recycling malarkey we were spending £1.6 billion a year. (From the \”Waste not Want not\” report to the Prime Minister. Foreword was by one A Blair if memory serves).

For, you see, recycling is more expensive than throwing it all in a hole in the ground. So for anti-waste campaigners to complain that the system they\’ve insisted upon is more expensive is a little rich.

\”We still have a lot of valuable materials that are going into landfill,\” said Dr Michael Warhurst, Friends of the Earth\’s senior waste campaigner.

Well, you know, that\’s extremely doubtful. For of course in attempting to work out that value we have to be including the costs of extracting that value. And as I\’ve been banging on about for many years now, you and everyone else (yes, including the government and the EU) have been entirely ignoring the largest cost of such schemes. The costs of the households doing the sorting. For a full on sorting scheme, food and garden wastes included, this would be £5.5 billion if we are to use the recommendations of the Stiglitz Commission on how to account for household production.

This is, as you will note, more than the current total cost of the system….and we certainly don\’t expect council costs to fall to nothing under a full on recycling system. So your recommendations are to make the system even more expensive.

Well done that man.

Landfill is expensive, almost full

Bollocks. Licenced landfill is almost full….but that\’s only because we\’re not licencing any more. We dig more holes each year than we create rubbish to put into them. This is an artificial, regulatory, shortage only.

and the methane emissions from organic waste breaking down in landfill account for 3% of the total UK greenhouse gas emissions.

and 33% of renewable energy generated in the UK let us not forget.

Forgive me banging on about this yet again but it does enrage me to see something so important being sold to us with a pack of lies. And until they include in their calculations the cost of household time spent according with their rules the whole thing is indeed a pack of lies.

9 comments on “The usual bollocky, bollocky, nonsense.

  1. Surely, if we are recycling valuable waste, the schemes would be a net benefit, not cost to councils. Presumably someone is making money, but not the ratepayers.

    Anyone have any figures on this?

  2. But at least all this nonsense ensures that we shall have a wealth of holes in which to bury the corpses Come The Revolution.

  3. Good post. One minor quibble: circa 33% of renewable electricity (rather than energy) comes from waste. Roughly 25 out of that 33% is from landfill gas, most of the rest comes from municipal waste combustion.

  4. It is quite amazing how little domestic refuse collection costs (it being only about a quarter of all refuse by colume), if you strip out the loony Landfill Tax, it’s less than £100 per household per annum. Slap a 1% tax on new, physical goods (while scrapping VAT) and that’s all sorted.

  5. “and the methane emissions from organic waste breaking down in landfill account for 3% of the total UK greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Have I missed something here?

    I can either throw my organic waste in the council tip or I can put it in my own compost bin, which, as it happens, I do.

    Either way it will rot down and generate the same amount of methane, won’t it?

  6. Well, I’m not going to say it again.

    Oh alright then, I will say it again: nobody pays me for my spare time*, so what’s its value, and how do you work that out?

    *Your mileage may vary, of course.

    Tim adds: It’s not *spare time* it’s leisure time. And your leisure time has value *to you*. So when someone demands that you spend your leisure time insisting that you must do as they say, then the loss of your leisure time is a cost which must be included in the costs of whatever it is that buggerlugs has demanded that you do.

    One of the costs of conscription is that people might wish to do something else other than be in the Armed Forces. One of the costs of a complicated tax system is that complicated tax forms must be filled out and complicated tax records kept. One of the costs of recycling is that people must spend time sorting items to recycle.

    Sometimes these costs are “shut up and bear it”. Sometimes they’re not. But unless we measure them, we’ll not know.

  7. Pingback: First Class posts on Monday | Letters From A Tory

  8. TGS- organic matter in a compost heat decomposes mostly aerobically, and generates CO2, water and heat- and little smell. At the bottom of a landfill it decomposes anaerobically- producing methane and pong.
    Of course the greenies know its nonsense- otherwise they’d set up a waste disposal company (they do have plenty of capital) and make enough money to pay people for any necessary sorting, and swell their funds in the process.

  9. Pat,

    So its a choice between producing CO2, water and heat – greenhouse gases and methane, also a green house gas.?

    I appreciate that methans is a much more powerful green house gas and there are some prety complex numbers to be crunched, but it sounds to me like we are bandying semantics here.

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