As I’ve noted ad infinitum

Households will have to spend more time sorting food waste from other ­rubbish under £10bn proposals to boost recycling and cut greenhouse gas ­emissions.

Waste companies are today pledging to invest the sum to try to increase recycling rates from about half to two thirds.

That’s two costs there, not one. First, the £10 billion, that’s clearly a cost. Then there’s the extra, unpaid, labour that all have to expend in order to sort waste.

As I’ve been known to point out before add in the time cost of that labour and we’d do better to stick it all into landfill unsorted.

22 thoughts on “As I’ve noted ad infinitum”

  1. A more pertinent question might be why are we obsessing about recycling when so much of it can be easily burnt for power, but we all know the answer to that one 🙁

    Surely potentially contaminated landfill unsuitable for later development has a cost Tim?

  2. I recycle 100%. Glass bottles go the bottle bank, cardboard gets put out every other Monday and the rest goes into the wheelie bin then on to landfill, which is recycling only on a rather longer timescale.

    I stopped spending time sorting the plastic stuff when the lady CEO of, I think, Veolia, explained they were making money selling bin bags made from the plastics their customers had kindly sorted for them.

  3. “Surely potentially contaminated landfill unsuitable for later development has a cost Tim?”

    It’s the great big red herring much beloved by environmentalists, isn’t it?
    For a start, why would anyone be stupid enough to landfill on valuable development land? Secondly, the land area of the UK is 242,495 km². A square kilometre of ground dug out 20 metres deep will take about 40 million tons of landfill. Go deeper for more. You could site that landfill pretty well anywhere in the UK apart from a city centre & have difficulty finding it if you didn’t know where it was. Although as there’s hundreds of square kilometres of predug holes in the UK, a map might come in useful.
    It just isn’t a significant problem

  4. I didn’t know that Addolff, Veolia do my bins too. I like the fact that plastic is recycled into something we throw away.

    Also, since we have left the EU, councils are no longer required to pay a landfill tax, I assume ?

  5. I would see that as good. The more profit Veolia can make, the more competitive the quote to the Council come renewal time, and hence my pocket.

  6. That was to Adolf re plastics, not re “chuck it all in landfill anyway” which makes perfectly good sense if there is no profit to be made/green nonsense to apply.

  7. “…add in the time cost of that labour…”

    But the whole point of slave labour is that it is free: it isn’t your time and you don’t have to pay.
    And in this case, you don’t even need to feed/house/clothe the slaves: they look after themselves.

    All you need is a very big stick and enough terror that it will be used upon those who don’t obey.
    Situation normal: Stalin was good at this, and has plenty of followers still.
    Nothing new under the sun: see:
    ‘Aztecs and hearts, removal of.’
    ‘Inquisition and Heretics, burning of.’
    ‘Stalin and kulaks, shooting of.’
    ‘Great Leap Forwards, and everyone, murder of.’
    ‘Global Warming and peasants: eradication of.’
    etc etc for every religion there is/was/will be. It’s human nature. The Gods need blood. Yours.

    Every religion needs to enforce obedience. This isn’t about recycling, or the environment, or the economics of waste disposal. It is about power and fear.

  8. Recycled plastics aren’t worth much at the moment. But we keep being told that oil is going to run out in a decade or so, and that plastics last for 100 years or more. So when the oil runs out, plastics will be valuable, so it will be worth digging them up and recycling them. So stick them in landfill for now, and wait.

    Unless of course they are lying to us about the oil running out, but that’s the same people who tell us we need to recycle.

  9. There was a business in my city that made roof tiles out of plastic waste. The tiles won commendation and awards. It turned out that the business was being paid to take the plastic off the city’s hands. How they managed to go out of business beats me. Unless nobody wanted to buy the bloody useless things.

  10. I remember 30odd years ago at school going on a field trip to a local country park, large parts of which were old gravel pits used for landfill then covered in top soil once full. Some left unfilled as lakes etc. We even did some sort of study and showed the landfill/topsoil reclaimed bits had pretty much the same stuff growing as the undisturbed bits, except for big trees. The people at the site were very proud of what had been achieved. Still, can’t have that now cos we all know landfill is bad, or something.

  11. Landfill was discouraged by the EU because the Netherlands couldn’t dig a hole without it filling up with water and that meant the playing field had to be levelled and the EU solution was to tax it where it did work perfectly.


  12. Won’t anyone think of the eurocrats?

    “Several pieces of legislation are already facing delays. In March, Mattia Pellegrini, head of the waste unit in the Commission’s environment department, said delays to the revision of the Waste Framework Directive were in part related to staff struggling to keep up with an “unprecedented” workload that is “beyond any work-life balance.”

  13. The only “sorting” I do is the few milliseconds as I open the door under the sink and direct my hand either to the left bin or the right bin to drop the crud. Other than that everything is exactly the same journey from the kitchen to the bins with again a few milliseconds to lift the lefthand lid or the righthand lid. Exactly the same time and effort to drag the bin out to the pavement and drag it back again.

  14. We weren’t allowed new landfill sites (or new reservoirs) because of EU wide rules. Now we’re not allowed them because of fucking greens. It’s going to take a while to throw off the parasites, but we should remain hopeful and diligent.

    The only “sorting” I do is moderate cutting and compaction. It’s amazing how much plastic and such you can get into a black bin. Occasional use of the recycling facilities at the supermarket for larger collections of bottles or cardboard is less inconvenient than accommodating a blue bin.

  15. I’m forced to recycle. By the wife. She’ll even rip the plastic off windowed envelopes before putting the paper in the paper bag. Me? I’d maybe separate out metal & glass & plastic & paper ….. from food. But that’s it. Two bins. That’s it.

  16. It’s not the sorting that I find a pain in the arse, but having to clean stuff that I’m throwing away. Stuff that goes in the bin bag doesn’t need washing, but in the recycling box it smells and attracts the vermin.

  17. ‘So stick them in landfill for now, and wait.’

    Even if we go extinct Richard (climate change you know) the highly evolved rats or cockroaches that replace us will still be able to use the stuff. After all we’ll have burnt all the coal.

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