Jamie Reed MP: Cretinous idiot

The threat of paying millions in penalties each year means Britain urgently needs a new infrastructure to deal with its waste, according to a new report to be launched in Parliament on Tuesday.

To deal with our waste efficiently an investment of £8bn will be needed by 2020, rising to £15bn by 2030, the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group said.

OK, the EU will fine us lots if we don\’t invest tonnes of money in reducing our use of landfill.

However, there\’s a real problem with doing this as there\’s no profit to be made by doing all of this. Why invest so as to lose money?

Jamie Reed MP, Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: \”Rubbish is a resource we can\’t afford to squander by burying in the ground.

\”More infrastructure is needed to deal with our waste, not only so we can use this valuable source of energy and materials, but also, so that we avoid paying millions of pounds in landfill tax and EU fines.\”

No you cretinous idiot. The very facts you have before you show that rubbish is not a valuable resource.

If there have to be taxes and fines to make people reuse materials then obviously the value of reuse is less than chucking them in a hole in hte ground and using new stuff. That\’s the reason you\’ve got the taxes and the fines after all.

If it were a valuable resource then you wouldn\’t need the taxes and fines and everyone would be happily recycling and making a profit as they did so.

13 thoughts on “Jamie Reed MP: Cretinous idiot”

  1. Given that the “EUrosceptic” Conservatives are always banging on about repatriating powers that are inappropriately held at EU level, (and we have plenty of landfill space ta very much), perhaps they could have a go on this relatively minor area?

  2. Of course it is a valuable resource – see all those kids in India scrabbling through it to find anything worthwhile. What would the cost of shipping it to India be ?

    In case of doubt, this is satire.

    Alan Douglas

  3. I think it’s a bit more complicated than that, just because something is thrown away doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. It can mean that the means of getting it from the person who doesn’t want it, to the person who wants it is complicated and/or expensive.

    I’d happily collect waste cooking oil from domestic users and pay them for it, but the quantities they use and hence the return on recycling mean that for most people it isn’t worth bothering, but if i could get my hands on it it would be worth a tidy sum.

  4. Just to expand on what I wrote above, the waste industry is a little like mining, in terms of getting stuff out of landfills it is very much like mining. But the collection of waste is a bit like Tim’s own rare earths, you have all this stuff with value dispersed in small quantities across a wide area, it has an intrinsic value, but realising that value is the problem.

  5. Raedwald did something on this some time ago. IIRC the volume of the holes dug for quarrying is greater than the volume of holes required for landfill, by some distance.

    The only question that needs answering is whether or not there are some externalities that require a Pigou tax and if there are what is the calculated level. Given that I asked my previous council about this when they introduced a very costly recycling scheme and they just fobbed me off with an “EU rules” answer, I suspect that there haven’t been any calculations.

  6. I once read an article detailing that about 100 years ago firms made extensive use of recycling. After all, what better way of increasing profits than finding value in what you were throwing away?
    However, quality regulations meant it became more and more hassle to prove that what you were re-using was safe, so it became more profitable to use new materials, that had been created to quality standards. So this recycling dropped off.
    So, because we introduced laws regulating inputs, we now have an incentive to introduce more laws offsetting the bad effects of the previous laws. Road to Serfdom stuff indeed.

  7. If we are really running out of resources (as the greenies say), and it is not currently profitable to recycle lots of those resources, then isn’t the best thing to put those recyclable resources into landfill, wait until their value goes up enough (which it will if we are running out of them), and then dig them up again?

    Obviously this doesn’t apply to organic matter, which would decompose, but how quickly does metal rust when it’s buried underground?

  8. Winston, that thing that gets in your way is what makes it waste. Something is waste when it would consume more resources to reuse it than you would gain from reusing it rather than throwing it away. In other words, the recycling has a negative total value. “If I could get my hands on it” is the stumbling block; you’ll use more resources (labour, transportation etc) than you’ll gain from retrieving the cooking oil.

    As such, the waste cooking oil really is waste. It has zero- in fact, less than zero- value.

  9. Landfills could be the gold mines of the future, handy way of storing material we can’t usefully recycle now but which we may have a use for in the future at a fraction of the cost of destroying it now.

  10. Ian, the waste cooking oil recycling industry that exists in this country, and has done for the last 100 years or so shows that there is value in recycling the waste oil.

    I think it could even be collected profitably from domestic premises, the only stumbling block is that if we arranged for people to leave it out on their doorsteps for us to collect it would all be nicked before we got there, so we have no incentive to introduce such a service despite there being profit in it for both us and the producer.

  11. Winston/Ian

    Here in the Spanish Basque Country we take it to the Garbigunea (go on google it, ha!) and pour it into a large black container for an industrial recycler to collect when full. The same companies go round restaurants with vans.

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