That recycling system

Yes, yes, I know I bang on about it but Booker is quite right here.

What has thrown all this into chaos has been the imposition of a wholly different EU policy which seeks to eliminate landfilling (originally because some countries, such as Holland and Denmark were running out of land to fill). The EU puts recycling at the top of its priority list, followed by incineration. Only then can what remains be buried.

To conform with the Euro-model, we have therefore been required to discourage landfilling by closing down our rubbish tips and imposing ever higher "landfill taxes", to build hugely expensive incinerators and to collect far more waste for "recycling" than we can actually recycle.

Instead of all this being admitted, it has become shrouded in propagandist humbug.

We are repeatedly told we are "running out of sites for landfill", when every year we quarry out 110 million cubic metres of soil and rock, more than the refuse we produce. We are told that incineration is cheaper than landfill, when in fact it can cost as much as £190 a ton, as opposed to a maximum landfill cost of only £62.

Not all that surprising that I agree for of course Imake the same points myself.

But the really enraging thing is that the recycling system doesn\’t in fact save resources. It doesn\’t do what its promoters claim it does.

There is some discrete amount of time that a household must take to organise and prepare items for recycling. The only estimate for this time that I\’ve seen (and yes, I have asked DoE as was what was their estimate and they said they didn\’t have one) came from a study in Seattle: 15 minutes per week for a simple system, 45 minutes for food and garden waste inclusive ones.

Tot that time up over the nation and the year and we\’ve some 900 million hours of labour being used. Yes, labour is a resource, yes, it does have a value and yes, it is in total worth more than the entire waste disposal system itself.

Recycling destroys resources, not saves them.

The only way to deny that is to claim that people\’s time has no value: a concept that is so idiotic only a Green could possibly advance it.

5 thoughts on “That recycling system”

  1. I think the Greens, and the Left generally, see this as an ethical issue. When I confess that I don’t recycle to my left-wing friends they fly into moral outrage not economic reasoning.

  2. `The basic Green argument is not that recycling has no cost. It’s that your (other people’s) valuation of its benefit is too low–by some amount seen as an externality (equivalent to their own moral outrage). In essence, it’s no different than impositions on your income (in the form of taxes) not for their own direct consumption–but for a differential amelioration level along lines of their preference rather than yours. The general process is ALWAYS tangentially supported by threats of physical violence and not merely those of the coercive powers of the legal system. And, I would suppose for reasons of experiental symmetry, the argument can never be successfully defended against except by similar extra-legal means. The plain fact is that, absent the willingness to (at least threaten) such retaliatory measures, the only other road to eventual victory comes at enormous cost: the proposed measures must be adopted–no matter how grudgingly–and followed until their eventual destructive force has been widely recognized by the electorate (and, hopefully, by the leftists concerned, themselves). It’s wrong-headed and unfortunate and it’s also multifaceted and never-ending (in one wise or another).

    If I weren’t human (and, therefore, predisposed to optimism), I’d be a pessimist.

  3. I put my papers in the recycling box. It does not take any longer than putting them in the bin.
    Of course taking the box and the bin to the side of the road takes a little more time than just the bin but the bin is always full anyway (we have 4 adults and one baby in the house). 15 mins a week seems a long time unless you have a very very long drive.

  4. Washing out all of your empty tins takes time, effort, and some hot water. Same with your glass and plastic bottles and jars.

    But what bothers me most about this lark, is that the rules are so arbitrary. You can be in trouble for putting window envelopes in the paper box. On the other hand, you might be in trouble if they find them in your general waste bin.

    If more of us had open fires, the ‘crats would never find out what we were burning in them. And at least some of this junk has some calorific value…

  5. “You can be in trouble for putting window envelopes in the paper box. On the other hand, you might be in trouble if they find them in your general waste bin. ”

    Is there any nation in the industrialised world other than the UK, where this fervent stupidity in re rubbish manifests itself on a regular basis?

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