Wednesday, April 25, 2007

That Was Then But This Is Now


Anonymous said...

Bullseye, Iain. The same thought crossed my mind yesterday. The thing about socialists is that when the chips are down they don't give a hoot about the people.

Anonymous said...

Surprised that Prescott isn't there munching on a rotten old burger or kebab.

Anonymous said...

For Fucks' sake - talk about something important !!"Q

Colin D said...

very drool Iain. But true 100%

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 7.42 does not think getting bins emptied properly is important which says it all.

Anonymous said...

Repeat after me: I must get my bins emptied regularly, I must get my bins emptied regularly.

My council does stuff all else for me, my council does stuff all else for me.

The Dirty Rat said...

anonymous 7:42
For Fucks' sake - talk about something important !!"Q

Personally I think not living up to my arse in shit and rats is rather important.

Anonymous said...

Yes it,s all unraveling folks but this time it took 10 miserable years instead of the usual 4!!

Another New Labour disaster on Channel 4 tonight re Health Service.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall when I was on the bins in the late 70s plastic bags were a relatively new innovation; prior to that houses with bags for rubbish had large double or triple lined paper bags. Also many houses and flats (especially those without central heating) had galvanised steel bins. They weighed a ton, especially if you had to carry them down several flights of steps with council flats. If they were full of ashes they were the more so. Getting the heavy bins into the back of the truck without dropping them was quite an art. The binmen were a great bunch. One of the perks of the job was getting free drinks from some of the pubs we did. But it was not much fun doing the round on the run (as we often did to get a bonus for finishing early) with freezing lager in your
bladder on a cold and frosty morning.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:42 PM said...
For F***s' sake - talk about something important !!"Q

Refuse collection, or rather the lack of it, may be unimportant to you and nulab, however it's a key issue in local communities all over the country. And Rightly so.

How dare this greedy and inept government and it's equally greedy and inept LAs tell us that there is insufficient funding for proper rubbish collection - ditto pensions, education, roads, the English NHS and so on - when they are stuffing our money into their greedy coffers as fast as their slimey fat fingers can grab it!

The people of England are sick to the back teeth of nulab's snatch and grab raid on our taxes and public services - and we are going to give them an almighty electoral bashing for this.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that a superficially insignificant issue like refuse collection could foucs discontent in the same way the fuel protesters did. The problem for our uncaring politicians is that unlike stealth taxes and waste, rubbish (as Iain's pics show) is highly visible.

Chris Paul said...

You plonkers! Why are you getting down with the green ink bin loonies? Proper research instead of anecdotes show there is no health detriment from switching to alternating collections as the volume of unsorted waste spirals down and more and more is recycled.

The "rat" story is just that. There have been lots of rats since time. Domestic rubbish in wheely bins is not a great temptation or opportunity. Fly tipping, people cheating, commercial refuse inadequately marshalled are far more significant. Particularly fast food litter.

THIS Guardian story is from five years ago - before AWC - and is about the real reason for rats being more visible, if indeed they are anyway.

There is a fantastic rat burrow (or there was in September 2001) by Flinders Street station in Melbourne. The little buggers and the big buggers too run about playing in the moonlight. Fantastic. Like Meercats with attitude.

What happened to your middle way Iain? When you realised that lots of Tory councils had taken the AWC option and that it was working?

Playing to the gallery like a Lib Dem here! No regard for facts, figures, reason or truth.

trinitylaw said...

Spot on Ian. I hope voters will consider the rubbish collection question at next week's elections. If newly elected Councils don't budge on the issue, I think council tax payers should seek judicial review of their Council's failure to fulfil its statutory duty to manage waste collection in a way which does not endanger public health.

Anonymous said...

Is Chris Paul a socialist/New Labour supporter? I know I am not. Has he ever been on the bins, swept pavements, or emptied human waste s from septic tanks, I doubt it. I have. For his information the rat story is not just that. On the same day on my first day on the bins that one jumped out of the bin I saw a chain smoking colleague of mine experience almost the same thing except despite his age he was
fleeter of foot than I and he chased it and kicked it to death. My understanding that the rat population is on the increase and Weils disease is no laughing matter .

Stephen Britt said...

All this talk about twin bins (or triple bins in some cases) is avoiding the central issue which is that all of us should responsibly dispose of our waste.
The simplest system is a bin for refuse and a bin for re-cycling emptied on alternate weeks.
The problem then comes with educating the masses in what to put in each bin.
The rats are a non issue - our 'refuse' bin is almost as clean as when it was delivered 3-years ago. We wrap most items in the bio-degradable supermarket bags.
The real issue is the amount of unecessary packaging we have to re-cycle and what we are allowed to re-cycle. Our local council prohibits any polythene bags! Apparently, they clog the sorting machine - a machine ordered by the previous Lib-Lab shambles. My business re-cycles ALL polythene and gets paid for it! Why can't they??
Commercial realities people!!

Anonymous said...

Difference is that we are being told, and then fined.

If councils approached us with a proposal, look chaps we have to recycle, here are some options, now you choose, and we will do it for you, it may well have gone down a damn sight better.

but being told, and punished for non compliance gets peoples goat.

Some may consider it an unimportant matter, but that just goes to show how remote the morons in Westminster are from the people on ground. The people with the votes.

If they get the chance to vote that is. I see there are now over 4 dozen councils who are not going to be able to get their electronic voting in place on time. There will be a big big backlash on this.

Anonymous said...

What is the problem here? If you compost your food waste, or are lucky enough to have a council who collects food waste as Richmond Upon Thames does (introduced by the Tories, and continued by the Liberals), then the only thing you have in your rubbish bin is plastic, as everything else is easily recycled. So a plastic bag full of plastic definately doesnt need collecting more than once a fortnight.

Anonymous said...


You also have clearly never been on the bins if you think you will be able to solve the problem through education. Try doing 600 hundred houses on a Monday morning and you might have a little insight. Alternatively simply try some litter collection in public places: syringes, condoms, vomit, and faeces are common fare before you have to deal with simple litter. And now we are going to signal to people that we won't even collect their domestic refuse. The green loons will have us drinking from streams next and gods knows what they will want us to do with the rest of our human waste.

Twice weekly collections are not acceptable. With the recent warm weather refuse is already beginning to smell after a few days. Bagging rubbish is no good when they smell, bags are open to vermin, people have busy lives, cannot always put rubbish out on time, and do not all have the luxury of space to store refuse.

Also the councils cannot be guaranteed to get their act together. Last year we didn't get any of our bins done for three weeks at a stretch so your confidence in the authorities is misplaced. Perhaps your experience of commercial refuse collection has given you a rose tinted view of domestic services.

I don't want my home to stink but I'll be alright because I have a reasonable size house with reasonable space etc. However many people do not have the right facilities and I do not want to see even more rubbish stewn around public places and in the countryside.

Anonymous said...

I think more than anything else people have lost the sense of what this is really about.

Public servants are paid by us to service our needs. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

maneatingcheesesandwich said...

anonymous 8.06pm - galvanised steel bins, full of ashes ? You're making me feel nostalgic. All we need now is someone in gorblimey trousers and I'll be well away...

I live out in the sticks and have had alternating collections for the past five years. It's fine. Our lot don't recycle plastic, but our neighbouring district does. I take a bag of plastics to work and swap them with a guy over the border for a bag of glass, which his lot don't deal with. A bit more uniformity wouldn't go amiss...

My poor old widowed mother lives in the city and has had alternating collections for six years. If she can cope, why can't the average Londoner ? (She also holds down a full time job, so it's not a time issue)

Oh, and as for rats - given the state of London, I hardly think a swapping plastic bags for a couple of wheelie bins is going to make much of a difference. The real rats are in charge anyway.

Anonymous said...

ianp has hit the nail on the head. too many public servants have lost the plot a situation not helped by some of them being paid too much.

Daily Referendum said...

Labour claim credit for better housing for rats.

jailhouselawyer said...


Anonymous said...

Composting and sorting and storing in different boxes and bins etc is all very fine for those of us lucky enough to live in a house with some outside space.

But 20 stories up, no balcony, communal bins overflowing with rubbish dumped by passers-by?

Get out of Tom Good Land and into the real world, my friends. Oh, and Ianp, you are so right.

Anonymous said...

"You plonkers! Why are you getting down with the green ink bin loonies?"

It isn't just green inkers, normal council tax payers are unhappy with this too. It's constantly coming up on the doorstep. Round where I live both Tories and Independents are promising to do something about the fiasco. We've have weekly rubbish collections for years, why stop now?

"Playing to the gallery like a Lib Dem here! No regard for facts, figures, reason or truth."

You ignored my point on another thread about Tory-controlled Chelmsford. They were elected on a pledge to bring back weekly collections. They promptly did so AND increased the amount of recycling. So you get convenience and environmental friendliness in one go.

Paul Burgin said...

That's cheap a) How many of these problems are down to Conservative-run councils!(they can't keep blaming the govt you know) and b) I am sure there are lovely photos of streets full of For Sale signs etc.. from the late 1980s

Anonymous said...

One finds that if one lives in Islington or Notting Hill, refuse disposal is not a problem. One's au pair can usually deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Our local council has finally achieved its target of reducing landfill use by 50%. Does it mean 50% less landfill use in the county ? No - because the extra space in the hole will now be used to take rubbish from London. Well that's alright then....

And for those in flats - what do you do with your rubbish now, throw it out of the window? You will create no more rubbish in two weeks than you did before, and it shouldn't be toooo much to expect you to do a little bit of sorting, rather than dumping all your crap in my back yard, should it ?

Anonymous said...

If the Government wants to save EU fines on landfill it should penalise construction since building waste is 80% of landfill

As for households simply use the German law whereby retailers have a statutory obligation to take back packaging from the is such fun to unwrap items at the checkout and hand it back for the shop to recycle

I am bored with the amount of packaging I have to deal with - just look at a flash drive for useless packaging or a flash memory card for a camera

Tony said...

Paul Burgin said...
That's cheap a) How many of these problems are down to Conservative-run councils!(they can't keep blaming the govt you know) and b) I am sure there are lovely photos of streets full of For Sale signs etc.. from the late 1980s

Tell us Paul, how many Conservative-run councils had a say in the cost per landfill ton being increased by £8 per year? And you say we cannot keep blaming the government?

As ever the joined-up Labour government makes us adhere to EU regulations without this country having some of the alternatives other countries have, such as incinerators.

I am sure that once you take off the Mandelson rose-tinteds you will see Gordon Brown has a great deal to do with this issue and that councils are going to alternate weekly collections for cost reasons.

Anonymous said...

Great graphic Iain. Can I steal it? It so captures nulab.

For the ignorant who, for example, live in Australia, try to understand. Most people in the UK do not have vast houses with lots of outside space to hold three (colour-coded) wheely bins. Instead people have one wheely, one plastic box (with no lid) for metals, and a canvass-type sort of carrier bag for paper. The latter becomes filthy from being thrown around the dirty (often rain-soaked) streets and the box is, literally, an open invitation to vermin.

People who live in private roads pay additional money and get rubbish collections twice a week.

When ordinary people get decent-sized housing then we can have three or four wheely bins. The main one would still require weekly collection, as would the green garden one during Summer. Until then the eco-fascists should be rounded-up and fed to the rats.

Roger Thornhill said...

Great graphic. So true.

The BBC spun the story as an increase in recycling, but (purposefully?) fail to mention that many authorities introduce their enhanced recycling programmes on the back of 14 day collection (or is it the other way around?...)

Here in Ealing, the recently arrived Conservative Council did a survey on refuse colleciton. Wheelie, fortnightly, various recycling bins and combos thereof.

Result was almost all wards wanted to retain 7 day black sack + existing recycling measures and that is what Ealing has done - i.e. left it well alone.

14 day collections increase the occurance of "bad smells, maggots and vermin" no surprise New Labour cannot tell the difference.

No surprise that EU directives are behind all of this, btw.

Anonymous said...

You are really missing the point Iain. What do we do to encourage recycling when we were are running out of land fill sites and local authorities face massive fines if they fail to reach targets set by the EU? The option of doing nothing isn't an option. Waste managemant alongside equal pay is one of the ticking time bombs facing local government. Failure to deal with it will lead to higher council taxes in the long run and or cuts in services to pay the fines which will be imposed by the EU. It's apity that some Tories have turned this into another government bashing exercise instead of listening to the sensible comments of Sandy Bruce-Lockhart and others who know what faces local government if nothing is done.

Tony said...

Anon @ 11:09 As I have said above the government deserves criticism because once again it is driving up the cost of something without providing an alternative - in this case waste disposal. It is all driven by finances and a desire to avoid EU fines rather than fixing the problem at hand.

Of course it is great for Treasury receipts but does nothing to address the problem. A joined-up government would be ensuring measures are put in place to increase the use of recycled material and to reduce the amount of non-recyclable packaging consumers acquire when purchasing goods.

Also, it is all very well having these pressures on householders to recycle waste, but what is happening to the recycled material that is not being sold because there is little demand for it? If this is not in the government's remit, what is?

Old BE said...

To everyone on here who thinks that we should be glad of a fortnightly collection should read the BBC article on what happens in other EU cities.

If they can do it why can't we? If they can do it for less money then what the hell are our "administrators" doing?

Anonymous said...

How about this for an ad?

Picture of large amount of rubbish bags, wheelie bin, rats etc. in a back garden.

Slogan: "Labour. The rubbish is piling up."

Old BE said...

Labour isn't wheeling?

Roger Thornhill said...

"Labour: The only thing they are collecting more of are taxes"

Theo Spark said...

You can thank Robin Sharp for the graphic. Sadly he does not have his own blog.

As for the ad try '8 out of 10 rats prefer Labour'
available at

Paul Burgin said...


Whose fault is it that local government doesn't have that say? There are also alternatives, to be honest this argument is just another red herring to bash Labour with!

Anonymous said...

Actually this image is untrue and misleading. Garbage politics. It gets waste systems or waste resource recycling nowhere forward. Just perpetuates an unsustainable system we've had for ages. A broken record, change it.

Like Norwich City Council local authorities should roll out 3-4 different systems that suit different housing. All four parties City Conservatives/ City Labour, Lib Dems and Grrens have spent a yeay working together on a Waste Strategy and all signed up to it. The Norwich electorate voted for all councillors and parties to address recycling and collections, and this is with expert advice they have acheived. Twin bin AWC in suburbs, perhaps weekly collection in flatted areas and communual bin systems, green boxes in terrace properties. It should be tailorised rather than one weekly or fortnightly system fits all.

AWC is more to do with efficient Conservative and Lib Dem councils that have successfully run the system for 10 years with top line recycling rates. Its not a Labour idea. Thus the picture capion 1979 2007 is totally irrelevant. One was a caused by industrial strikes and in 2007 waste is being given special attention with Global Warming. The only rats are the editors and columnist of the Daily Mail who use AWC to panda to fears and sell more papers!

Anonymous said...


Whilst the mechanism is the EU Landfill Directive and £8/tonne/yr tax escalator, the underlying and rational motives are

1) Landfill capacity is running out in the UK (a differnt end of pipe or closed system solution/s is needs)

2) Landfill causes groundwater pollution and contamination to watercourses.

3) Landfill gases such as methane and hydrogen sulphide cause Global Warming (20x more than C02) and with VOS emissions blight local communities.

So its not just about the EU, its a rational and sensible sustainable policy direction that the UK is taking and would have had to take, even without the EU.

If you follow the technology / system alternatives to waste disposal search the following

Zero Waste
Resource Recovery Parks
Recycling and In Vessel Composting
Mechanical Biological Treatment
Anaerobic Digestion
Plasma Arc/ Torch Gasification
Advanced Thermal Treatments

and the least favoured
Mass Burn Incineration or Waste of Energy.

There are many alternatives to landfill building new technology for Britain, a new economic sector and new jobs and a reduced disposable society. 90% of material can be recycled with the correct technologies and collection systems, its moving. that way. Its more than a green issue its a sound business and economic issue of cutting waste, yes costs, energy costs and inefficiency.

Anonymous said...


"As ever the joined-up Labour government makes us adhere to EU regulations without this country having some of the alternatives other countries have, such as incinerators."

Incinerators are equally as bad as landfill. Disamenity radius around an incinerator is 5 kilometres, 1.5km for landfill. No one wants to live/ work near an incinerator new or old. Building more incinerators is a Labour (Ben Bradshaw policy termed the Energy from Waste programme) and backed by the EU Waste Incinerator Directive (WID). The "Green Blue" conservative approach is largely against large mass burn incinerators. Thank goodness for Peter Ainsworth and Kay Twichen, others I'm not too sure like Caroline Lucus who would sell the UK's health away with an incinerator for each town

Defra and HPA are currently hiding research from the states and UK medical experts that ultra fine partitulate matter (PM2.5s) are killing people near waste incinerators or causing illnesses such as Asthmas, if you search Dr Dick van Steenis, Dr Jeremy Thompson and Michael Ryan, Society for Ecological Medicine. They have so far kept a lid on this and it is too sensitive for any paper to publish. In places like Bexley their is a 1:3 upwind / downwind ward differnce in Infant mortality and Standard Mortality Ratios, the same in Edmonton, Coventry, 1:7 in Kirklees and 15 other locations with waste incinerators. Its a can of worms than this labour government hasn't wished to open since 2000.