Thursday, 14 August 2008

Statement to Sunday Telegraph

I was asked by the national Sunday Telegraph Newspaper for a statement about Rushmoors plans to replace our existing 240 litre bins with 140 litre bins. The following sums up how I feel about the issue:

1. We, as a nation, put far too much waste in our bins, especially wasted food. We all need to reduce waste, re-use more and recycle more.

2. Central Government should be taking a much harder line on big retailers with regards to excess packaging on goods. They, rather than consumers should be targeted and fined for non compliance. The current situation where Central Government is setting targets for Councils who can only put pressure on consumers is completely unbalanced. Central Government needs to take a lead and go to the source of most of the waste and tackle the large retailers, unfortunately they appear not to have an appetite for this, one has to ask why.

3. Waste collection is the most expensive and most valuable service we provide as a local Council. It should be a five star service to our residents. For this reason I am against two weekly collections, and I am against fining people and making criminals out of people that are in effect our customers.

4. People should have choice in all this and encouragement rather than coercion should be used by Councils, much the same as the approach taken by Central Government towards the people generating the vast majority of waste - the large retailers and manufacturers.

5. Locally I am opposed to "enforcement officers" but support education, I am opposed to enforcement of smaller bins but support encouraging more recycling so smaller waste bins become more practical. I am aware many retired couples would very happily be accommodated with smaller bins, I am also aware that larger families would struggle, and some would find it impossible. A five star waste service to our customer residents should accommodate everyone, and I will support this approach.

6. I did suggest a few changes to some recent recommendations which were not agreed by my fellow councillors, which is why you may be contacting me. The detail of this is on my blog site at:
http://cllrclifford.blogspot.com/2008/06/rushmoors-waste-management-panels.html


In summary I want to see us work with not against our resident customers. I am assured by officers at Rushmoor that people who cannot cope with the smaller bins will be entitled to retain the larger bins, I am also aware that some residents have requested larger recycle bins. I am against "green fundamentalists" and support a sensible, practical approach to promoting environmentally friendly behaviour.

18 comments:

Cllr. Roland Dibbs said...

Thanks for copying me in on your reply David. I have also read the responses to your blog and there is definitely either a misunderstanding of the proposals and the way in which waste is dealt with, both here and abroad. There also seems to be some confusion on the question of enforcement and education. We have spent a considerabe sum on education and also had financial support from PI for further education. This has resulted in our contamination rates being reduced from around 14/15% to 7%, but it is the 7% that needs to be dealt with, we cannot just walk away leave the situation as it is. Putting contaminated material in a bin not only ruins that bin but, in some cases, if it is tipped into the load the whole load may be rejected, which would constitute a considerable loss in revenue to the Council.

There is also some confusion over recycling of packaging. Most packaging can be, and is, recycled viz. paper, cardboard, tins (both steel and aluminium) and plastic bottles. The problem is that, even with this wide range there are still many people who are not bothering. This was amply demonstrated during the AWC trial last year: in the first month of the trial there was a 30% reduction of waste in green bins and a corresponding 30% increase in recycling in the trial area. The introduction of smaller bins should achieve the same result.

In respect of bin size: there is already a commitment to maintain larger bins for larger households and each household can have as much capacity as it needs for recycling.

In respect of home composing; several years ago we issued around 11,000 free home composters to households in the Borough and have been offering cut-price comosters over the last couple of years. The question of whether we can offer bins for green collections as an alternative to the currenct sacks is under investigation and an answer is expected shortly.

Regards

Roland

Anonymous said...

Contrary to what Roland 'half-size wheelie bins' Dibbs has to say on the subject, there is no misunderstanding by the public. Please do not insult us by thinking we are as thick as some of your councillors.

We do NOT want half-size wheelie bins! Is that not clear enough for you.

If there are people who ask for smaller bins, then give them to them.

We are all in favour of recycling, waste reduction. That means working with the public, something Dibbs has yet to understand.

Reducing waste, does not mean giving everyone a smaller bin when there is nothing wrong with their existing bin.

We noticed how Dibbs worked with the people of North Camp when he imposed a pay and display system on roads that were up till then free. How he tried to do the same in Salisbury Road.

An example of his ignorance, was when he claimed it did not matter how the lines in the street were marked. Which maybe explains why the street parking in North Camp is unlawful.

He was responsible for the distasterous fortnightly waste collection last year.

A couple of years ago he tried to force an incinerator on Aldershot.

Maybe Dibbs should get out and about and talk to people (the only time he is seen is election time) rather than show arrogant contempt for the local community, he may for once know what he is talking about.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the statement David Clifford has put on his blog, but not with the response from Roland Dibbs which only serves to highlight his level of ignorance and the contempt he has for the views of the local community. Dibbs must think us all a bunch of fools.

I also agree with all the other comments highly critical of this daft policy, including those taht have recently appeared in the local press. I have yet to find anyone, apart from fellow councillors of Dibbs, who agree with this half-brain scheme.

- Rushmoor's Waste Management Panel's recommendations

We should reduce waste before we even think of recycling.

Waste is growing every year, so even if we recycle, we do not solve in the long term as the overall amount is growing.

Obviously Dibbs fails to see the irony of replacing perfectly good serviceable bins with brand new bins, an oil-based product at that!

I could think of many better ways the council could spend £750,000, rather than replace existing bins with new bins. One would be to invest in better waste recovery!

Councils like Guildford or North Kesteven have far better recycling figures than Rushmoor, but then unlike Rushmoor, they work with the local community not against.

I generate very little waste, and that which I do is entirely due to over packaging by supermarkets. Whenever and wherever possible, I buy off markets and farmers markets which helps to reduce waste, buy fresh food, not canned or worse still, ready meals. Everything that can be, is composted, not put out to be collected, to artificially inflate the council's recycling figures, to then be carted across Hampshire to Basingstoke.

Last year I had a big clear out. Books and clothes were sorted and bagged, to be taken slowly slowly to charity shops.

During the spring I had a visit from the council. Bagged books and clothes were encouraging rats, or so it was falsely claimed. When it was pointed out there were no rats, no evidence of rats, it was changed to there could be a potential for rats! I was then told to dump the whole lot in the wheelie bins over the next few weeks!

So much for the Rushmoor commitment to recycling and waste reduction.

Keith Parkins

Anonymous said...

http://cllrclifford.blogspot.com/2008/08/statement-to-sunday-telegraph.html

That Roland Dibbs is as usual talking rubbish and displaying his ignorance on the subject is shown by the following extract from a recent letter the Audit Commission wrote to Rushmoor (March 2008):

The Alternate Weekly Bin Collection (AWC) [ie fortnightly rubbish collection] six-month trial involving 6,500 residents was completed as planned in July 2007. While this increased recycling rates in the trial area to 36 per cent compared to 22 per cent elsewhere in the borough, consultation showed residents did not support the approach, and so AWC is not being continued. This has meant that recycling targets are still not being met, and are at 22 per cent at October 2007. This represents only a one per cent increase on last year. The garden waste scheme has not been as successful as hoped either, and composting rates are low. The Council understands the need to increase its relatively low recycling rates and is developing a strategy to tackle this. In the meantime however, the overall amount of waste collected remains low and in the best 25 per cent of all districts.

It is an understatement to say residents did not support fortnightly waste collection (any more than they now support half-size wheelie bins). No mention that the council rigged the questionnaire to evaluate the trial. Maybe the Audit Commission did not know! Or that several thousand residents had signed saying they did not want fortnightly waste collection.

- Alternate week waste collection survey
- Council rigs questionnaire on fortnightly waste collection

The performance of this council on recycling is pathetic, only 22% recycled, only a one per cent increase on the previous year. Wishful thinking on behalf of the Audit Commission that Rushmoor are developing a strategy to improve their abysmal performance.

Even the targets set are pathetic: 40% by 2010.

North Kesteven already exceeds 50%!

David Quirk, the official responsible for both half-size bins and fortnightly waste collection, justifies new bins by his ridiculous claim that the existing wheelie bins are at the end of their lives and therefore will require replacing in the near future.

Examine your wheelie bin, does it appear to be on its last legs, about to collapse in a pile of dust?

Last year he misled by claiming there were no problems with fly-tipping, overflowing bins, smells, rats, flies, maggots etc. He was not the only one misleading the public.

- Rushmoor lies on fortnightly waste collection

The evidence for all to see was that there were these problems both in the borough and across the country. Including risks to public health.

How does Quirk retain his job?

Last year, Peter Sandy (then still a councillor) fired a series of questions at both Quirk and Dibbs on waste collection. He never got any answers. Dibbs did not even seem to understand the questions.

What therefore is this all about? The answer can be found in this key paragraph in an internal council report (David Quirk, Rushmoor's Waste Management Strategy, 29 July 2008):

'In parallel with the development of the Councils future waste and recycling strategy, negotiations have been taking place on the options for service delivery. A number of scenarios have been considered, including contract provision in partnership with another authority, re-tendering and contract extension. This has affected the options available and the pricing structure for the different service options with some options, such as a borough wide kerbside glass collection service, becoming less expensive to introduce.' [spelling mistakes corrected!]

In other words, as Dean Mansfield said in an excellent letter to the local papers, this is all about cutting services to the local community dressed up as recycling and waste reduction.

- Rushmoor's Waste Management Panels

The same report cited above, makes the following false assumption, though it is reported as though it were fact not an assumption:

'Reducing the space available to households in which to place residual waste for collection increases the quantity of recyclables put out for collection by households.'

This statement is simply not true. Households will sort their waste and place in what they deem is the appropriate bin. If they are not placing in the appropriate bin or not sorting, then that is the problem that needs to be addressed, not creating a whole new set of problems.

If the bin is too small, then it will lead to the following: overflowing bins, fly-tipping, back garden burning, trips to the tip, together with the associated problems of air pollution, carbon emissions, flies, maggots and rats. If the household was not sorting before, there is no reason to believe they will do now. They will simply fill one bin to overflowing, then dump in the other bin or fly-tip.

Has no one explained to Dibbs that we are supposed to be reducing our carbon emissions not increasing them?

During the highly unpopular fortnightly waste collection trials, advice was on hand to improve recycling. This one factor alone, which enhances the case for education, probably accounted for the improvement in recycling. We will never know, as even though he was asked to do so and it was pointed out his trials were seriously flawed, Quirk refused to carry out a properly conducted trial.

The money that was allocated to this help and advice has been cut as a cost saving exercise!

The borough is willing to pay the money for enforcement, ie employ bin police, but not on education.

Doorstep glass bottle collection in baskets was abandoned by North Kesteven as it proved highly unpopular with local residents and had only marginal impact on recycling rates. Unlike Rushmoor, North Kesteven listens to its residents and works with them not against them. North Kesteven, again unlike Rushmoor, has invested in waste handling. Bottles go into the recycling wheelie bin, as do plastics, including yogurt pots, margarine pots. Make a system complicated, as does Rushmoor, and you do not get participation, do not get good recycling rates. North Kesteven also encourage composting, whereas Rushmoor encourages residents to put out green waste, to artificially enhance recycling rates. Green waste that is then carted half-way across Hampshire to Basingstoke for composting.

Bottles left on the doorstep on the Pavilion slum estates or Aldershot town centre would lead to broken glass strewn everywhere and attacks with broken bottles.

Nowhere in the above cited report is there reference to a Waste Audit having been carried out, let alone any data provided. Without objective data, the report upon which the borough bases its recycling and waste reduction strategy is no more than ill-informed opinion and waffle. A matrix reproduced in the appendix to the report where it ranks various options, is again little more than ill-informed opinion and thus like the report itself, worthless.

Quirk has been asked to produce a copy of the Waste Audit or carry out one if none has been carried out. He has lacked the common courtesy to even respond to the request.

Nowhere in the above cited report is there reference to public consultation, a legal requirement. Successful recycling depends entirely upon public support and cooperation, and yet the public have been excluded entirely, other than as a body upon which the policy will be imposed.

- The duty of local councils to consult

In the private sector, performance is improved by looking at the best performance in the relevant sector. Nowhere in the above cited report is there any reference to the best performing local authorities, how they achieve that performance and the lessons to be learnt. The policy has been decided in a vacuum.

Having talked to North Kesteven and gone up there and seen how it done. I can only reiterate what I was told and repeat what I saw. We work with the public, without public participation we could not achieve these figures. Keep the system simple. Provide households with information. Invest in the waste handling equipment.

- Recycling a tale of two councils

None of this is being done by Rushmoor, which probably explains why North Kesteven has been the best performing local authority for the last two years and Rushmoor remains one of the worst.

Fortnightly waste collection last year was an unmitigated disaster, and yet it seems no lessons have been learnt.

A recent survey by Ipsos-Mori found that 73% of people in weekly collection areas opposed moves to a fortnightly service, with just 14% in favour.

Half-size wheelie bins is no different to fortnightly waste collection, both half the flow of waste collected, both amount to a cut in service.

I have yet to find anyone who supports this disastrous policy. The only exception has been Rushmoor councillors, which only goes to show just how out of touch they are with reality let alone the electorate they allegedly represent.

- Rushmoor wheelie bin madness
- cabinet minutes 29 July 2008
- Rushmoor's Waste Management Strategy
- Smaller wheelie bins for weekly rubbish collections
- Want weekly rubbish collections? Then you must have a smaller bin, say councils
- The shrinking bins: 'Blatant con' of councils who agree to weekly rubbish collections, but with SMALLER bins
- If We Can't Cut Collection We'll Halve Your Bin Size

Maybe one day councillors will act for the local community, not jostle for committee positions to maximise their allowances.

Maybe Dibbs would like to declare the nice little earner he pockets in tax free allowances or why he pushed for an inflation busting increase in those allowances.

Keith Parkins

Anonymous said...

Over the last few days there has been coverage in the national media. Reported comments from Roland Dibbs show once again he does not know what he is talking about.

- Rushmoor wheelie bin madness
- Smaller wheelie bins for weekly rubbish collections
- Want weekly rubbish collections? Then you must have a smaller bin, say councils
- The shrinking bins: 'Blatant con' of councils who agree to weekly rubbish collections, but with SMALLER bins
- If We Can't Cut Collection We'll Halve Your Bin Size

At the risk of repeating myself ...

Cabinet voted for half-size wheelie bins on the basis of a policy document that no one read. Had they taken the trouble to read, they would have seen it was waffle and half baked assumptions based upon ill-informed opinion.

- cabinet minutes 29 July 2008
- Rushmoor's Waste Management Strategy

If you want to increase recycling, which I hope we all do, then you focus on recycling, not go off at half cock down a side alley that has nothing to do with recycling and issue everyone with half-size wheelie bins.

Last year I talked to a lot of people about recycling and waste collection. What was very clear, people did not want fortnightly waste collection. Not only did they not want, they were very angry it was being imposed on them.

The result of the fortnightly waste collection trial, which should have been terminated after the first couple of months (when it was seen to be an unmitigated disaster and people's lives were being made a misery), was that it gave recycling a bad name, it was seen as the stick with which to beat people. As a result, we do not now get the cooperation of people. It was therefore came as no surprise to to see little improvement in recycling figures.

It is going to be very hard to get that cooperation as the council has lost a lot of good will.

We have Dibbs claiming people objected on the grounds of scare stories and bad publicity. They objected because they did not want it!

They had very good reasons for objecting.

As early as April, people had problems with maggots in their bins. They had never experienced the problem before.

Other problems were overflowing bins, fly-tipping, bad smells, rats etc.

Those who did not have problems with overflowing bins, who were not fly-tipping, were driving to the tip, with a two hour queue. Excellent for air pollution and carbon emissions.

People were also burning their rubbish.

There were also very serious health risks involved with fortnightly waste collection.

Reducing the bin size will bring back most of these problems.

If we wish to reduce waste, reducing the bin size does not reduce the waste, the rubbish has to go somewhere.

If people are putting the wrong rubbish in the wrong bin, that is the failure to educate.

The system has to be made simpler and easier to understand. Everything that can be recycled has to go into the recycling bin. This means everything, glass, plastic, everything.

There has to be investment in waste handling. It would be better to invest the money that is to be squandered on supplying unwanted new bins, on better waste handling facilities, on home composting, on water butts, on education.

Does no one see the irony? In the name of waste reduction, we are to purchase new bins, throw away the old ones. The quoted figure of £750,000 may already be well out of date. Bins are an oil-based product, the price of oil has doubled. There is a Europe-wide shortage of wheelie bins.

What is the council for? One would hope it is to improve the lives of the people who live in the locality. On that measure alone, it has failed. Be it imposing smaller wheelie bins, destroying North Camp or trashing Aldershot and Farnborough town centres.

The council has destroyed both Aldershot and Farnborough town centres. There is plenty of research on how to rebuild and regenerate towns. Why does the council not make use of that work? Instead of getting into bed with developers who have no interest in either town other than as the means to make a fast buck. Borough chief executive Andrew Lloyd has all the the time in the world for developers, but no time for local people.

Dibbs in one of the newspapers says he went back to the drawing board on waste collection. This is not true. In a report 2006, prior to the introduction of fortnightly waste collection, half-size wheelie bins was the preferred option, it was rejected on cost and fortnightly waste introduced instead as it met the same objective, halving the volume of waste collected. We are now back to half-size wheelie bins.

Last year Dibbs claimed only one person had objected to fortnightly waste collection. Several people who complained, were told they were the only ones to complain. A Freedom of Information request showed over a hundred people had complained. Then councillor Peter Sandy collected several thousand signatures objecting to fortnightly waste collection, including several hundred from Dibbs own ward.

Rubbish official David Quirk claimed there were no problems with fly-tipping, rats, maggots, bad smells.

January last year a report showed there had been a massive increase in rat population. This was put down to fortnightly waste collection and fast food takeaways.

- Fortnightly rubbish collection creating a plague of rats

Now Dibbs is claiming people were fed scare stories and bad publicity and this caused fortnightly waste collection to be rejected. Again not true. People were telling Dibbs at the time the problems they were experiencing and he refused to listen to them.

Newcomers who have moved into the area, cannot believe how bad recycling is compared with where they have come from. When they have tried to raise this with the council they have got nowhere.

One lady who asked for information to give to her tenants so they knew what went into each bin found she was banging a head against a brick wall. Getting nowhere, she drew up her own leaflet to give to her tenants.

When I had a big clear out, sorted and bagged books and clothes to slowly slowly carry down to charity shops, I had a visit from the council to say I was harbouring rats (not true, no rats, no evidence of rats) and told to dump all what I had sorted and bagged in the wheelie bins else be taken to court.

The wrong people are being targeted. Households do not create waste, it flows through their hands from elsewhere. Did they ask the supermarkets to triple wrap their purchases?

Very little rubbish goes into my bins, yet year on year, it goes up. Why, because of surplus packaging.

If everyone followed my good example, we would exceed North Kesteven within a few months!

- Recycling – a tale of two councils

If you reduce the flow of waste through households, there would be an argument for smaller bins, but only then if the existing bins needed replacing as otherwise a waste of resources, an oil-based resource.

Less waste equates to the need for smaller bins, but not the other way around, smaller bins does not equate to less waste. You can reduce the size of the bins but it does not reduce the waste flowing through the household. If we applied this logic, then giving households zero-size bins, ie no bins, would equate to zero waste! If it is accepted that larger households can keep a large bin, then where is the logic to giving a smaller household a smaller bin? In other words it has already been accepted the size of the bin has nothing to do with determining the waste flow, as that is already fixed. The waste flow is determined by other factors of which size of wheelie bin is not one of them.

Recycling, ie waste sorting and separation, is entirely down to training households to put the right waste in the right bin. Again nothing to do with the size of the bin. If households are currently putting the wrong waste in the wrong bin, changing their bin size is highly unlikely to modify their antisocial behaviour, on the other hand education, help and support might. The money available for that latter task was chopped by the council in a cost saving exercise!

Why are councillors incapable of objective critical analysis?

The council has to accept that half-size wheelie bins is not acceptable, is not an option. If households request a smaller bin, they get one, the rest retain their existing bins.

The next step, without the distraction of bin size, is to work out a strategy to improve not only waste recycling, but more important, waste reduction.

There is a lot that can be done, but it is not being done.

I have still yet to find anyone who either wants a smaller bin or thinks it is a good idea.

My bin rarely has much in it, but I do not want a smaller bin when there is nothing wrong with my existing bin. Last summer we had a big clear out. We ran out of bin space, where then to put the rubbish? It would have been worse if we had smaller bins or fortnightly waste collection.

Anonymous said...

http://cllrclifford.blogspot.com/2008/08/statement-to-sunday-telegraph.html

Was it a misunderstanding, or did I actually hear last night on BBC South Today, David Quirk say he listens to what people say, that Rushmoor works with the local community? Maybe it was his idea of a sick joke, certainly if it were true, it would be a first for Rushmoor.

- BBC South Today
- Anger over smaller bins


It is not only local residents who are opposing Rushmoor wheelie bin madness. On the same programme, the Rushmoor wheelie bin madness was criticised not only by Doretta Cocks of Campaign for Weekly Waste Collection, but also by a spokesman for the Local Government Association, the body that represents local councils.

The coverage in the national media has held both Quirk and Dibbs up to ridicule and made the pair look a couple of fools.

If it be true, as Quirk says, he is listening, then let us see him put his money where his mouth is and issue a press release saying he has listened to what local residents are saying and that the scheme to supply all with half-size wheelie bins is to be scrapped, and in this new spirit of cooperation we will all be working together as that is the only way Rushmoor will improve its pathetic recycling figures.

A common question people are asking: if we get a smaller wheelie bin, what do we do with our rubbish?

I have still yet to find anyone in favour of this crass stupidity, with the exception of Rushmoor councillors who like a bunch of brainless sheep vote for everything that is put before them.

This morning, a House of Lords committee published a report which backs everything the opponents to the Rushmoor wheelie bin madness have been saying.

- Call to tackle UK business waste
- House of Lords Report - waste reduction I
- House of Lords Report - waste reduction II
- UK 'must tackle business waste'
- Rushmoor wheelie bin madness
- Rushmoor's Waste Management Panel's recommendations

Households account for less than 10% of waste, industry and business for more than 90% and yet the focus has been on households. This has to change. Products have to be modular, easy to disassemble, to repair, to recycle. Tax changes, and if necessary legislation, to change behaviour.

- Natural Capitalism

Those who want to learn more of the subject, in addition to reading the House of Lord's report, should also read (this especially applies to Dibbs and Quirk as they might then know what they are talking about):

Lester R Brown, Plan B 2.0, Norton, 2006

Lester R. Brown, Throwaway economy in trouble, Earth Policy Institute, 30 November 2006

Paul Hawken, Amory B Lovins & L Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism, Earthscan, 1999

Ernst von Weizs├ącker, Amory B Lovins and L Hunter Lovins, Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use, Earthscan, 1997

We have to move to a zero waste strategy.

Mike Wilson said...

I agree with Cllr. Clifford's blog post and the last anonymous poster (I didn't read the previous comments re: Dibbs).

Businesses incorporated in Rushmoor can do much more to reduce the level of waste. Whether that be using digital instead of print media or using more easily recyclable packaging for goods.

Businesses need incentivising to go green.

Anonymous said...

A recent House of Lords report has shown that household's account for less than 10% of waste, and most of that is packaging and food waste.

- Household rubbish less than ten per cent of waste

What this means is that even if we eliminated household waste completely, it would make very little difference.

This is not to mean we should not cut down on waste, recycle. Yes, we should, not go off half-cock on giving everyone a smaller wheelie bin, which does nothing to increase recycling, but does help fill those holes in the ground.

Anonymous said...

Following extensive national coverage and criticism, coverage on BBC South Today, criticism here and elsewhere, Rushmoor has been forced to issue a press release defending its crass policy.

- Rushmoor defends crass half-size wheelie bin policy

This was then picked up by the Surrey-Hants Star (28 August 2008) which mentioned criticism raised here but failed to give the web address.

- Small bin plan defended

On BBC South Today (19 August 2008), Rushmoor rubbish supremo David Quirk said they were listening. If they were listening it would be a first for Rushmoor.

- Anger over smaller bins

Are they listening? Apparently not. Everyone is saying loud and clear: WE DO NOT WANT HALF-SIZE WHEELIE BINS! For Rushmoor the only response has been business as usual with the added threat of enforcement.

Everyone needs to e-mail David Quirk making it very clear that half-size bins are not wanted. But do not be surprised if you get an arrogant response as he does not like criticism. He needs reminding that he is a public servant employed at our expense to do our bidding. It is not for us to jump to his diktat.

david.quirk@rushmoor.gov.uk

Is this a democracy or a tin pot dictatorship? Is it not time common sense prevailed?

The council has placed itself on direct collision course with the local community. Last year local residents said no to fortnightly waste collection and the council was forced into a humiliating climbdown. Local residents are once again saying no, this time to half-size wheelie bins. Once again the council will be forced into a humiliating climbdown, only this time councillors run the risk of being surcharged.

Anonymous said...

We are drowning in a sea of waste, a sea of waste of our own making. We are running out of landfill sites, incineration or shipping to the Third World is not an option. A throwaway, linear flow society is illustrative of flawed thinking and poor design.

- Waste, recycling and packaging

We need a complete rethink on how we manage materials, design products, produce waste. It can be done, but it will only be done if we focus on the real issues of waste reduction, not if we piss in the wind with stupid small-minded ideas like half-size wheelie bins which have nothing to do with either recycling or waste reduction, but sure do serve to piss people off!

There has to be an improvement in the recycling figures for Rushmoor. This is not a luxury, it is a necessity. It will not happen whilst Rushmoor official David Quirk remains in post. Quirk has to be fired to be replaced with someone with a genuine desire to see waste reduction and who is prepared to work with local residents, not treat them with arrogant contempt.

During his appearance on BBC South Today (19 August 2008) David Quirk made himself and the council a laughing stock with his ridiculous comment that reducing the bin size means less rubbish. Those who saw the programme thought he was an imbecile. Should Quirk continue to ignore public opinion and issue everyone with a wheelie bin of insufficient capacity, what will happen to the excess waste? Will the council collect waste placed at the side of the bin? If the council refuses to collect the waste that no longer fits in the bin, they are going to be in breach of their statutory duty to collect household waste. They are also going to be in breach of the recent Congleton ruling by Ombudsman Anne Seex when she stated that not only are councils under a statutory duty to collect household waste, but also have to provide the appropriate means. Knowingly providing households with a wheelie bin of insufficient capacity is not to provide the appropriate means.

- Anger over smaller bins

Rubbish left regularly at the side of bins is going to encourage foxes, rats and other vermin. This would put the council in breach of its statutory duty under the Prevention of Damage by Pest Act (1949) to keep the district free of rats and other vermin.

Last year the National Pest Technicians Association reported a big increase in the rat population. They attributed this to fortnightly waste collection and the proliferation of junk food takeaways. Their report only served to emphasise a report of the previous year of super rats gorging themselves silly on rubbish and waste food.

- Fortnightly rubbish collection creating a plague of rats

The cost of the wheelie bins is well likely to far exceed the quoted £750,000 due to the Europe-wide shortage of wheelie bins.

- Cost of wheelie bins is soaring

Does David Quirk have a clue what he is doing? If not, should he not be replaced with someone who does? A classic example of a jobsworth promoted beyond his competence.

Anonymous said...

A film on waste which even Rushmoor councillors should have no difficulty understanding

- The Story of Stuff

A more comprehensive look at the concept of Cradle to Cradle Design, mimicking nature, closing the loops and minimising waste

- Cradle to Cradle Design

There is a very good article by Nick Kettles on waste and the need for lifestyle changes in the July/August 2008 edition of The Ecologist.

Anonymous said...

"No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently-worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance." -- Sir Winston Churchill, Walthamstow, 1945

The following comment was posted by Robert the American on a Telegraph article re the recruiting of Stasi-style spies to spy on our fellow citizens and report 'bin crimes' and other 'eco-crimes', which somehow seems very appropriate to what is happening here in Rushmoor. I particularly liked the idea of council staff getting their teeth knocked out of their heads. But on a more serious note, is it not about time we all started putting our foot down and said no to the nonsense coming out of town halls staffed with useless jobsworths, or are we now all spineless?

- 'Environmental volunteers' will be encouraged to spy on their neighbours
- Children spying for councils? It's 1984
- Children aged eight enlisted as council snoopers

Am I missing something?
Did the Third Reich win WW2?
Is the UK a satellite of Nazi Germany?

How on earth can you people put up with this? If they tried this in the US the "council staff" and private security who tried to issue fines or demanded private information would get their teeth knocked out of their heads.

Englishmen wake up !


And not satisfied with poking their unwanted noses into our bins, according to today's Daily Express (Tuesday 9 September 2009) council jobsworths are now dictating what we may grow in our gardens!

- Now they want to ban your lawn

Council jobsworth David Quirk asked for a big stick with which to beat local residents. Will he now be asking for an army of neighbourhood informers?

In the Second World War they called them Gautleiters and in the Cold War they were informers or traitors. I trust this little army of fascists will be appropriately kitted out in their crisp brown and black shirts. They could even be dual purpose, we could use them to pack the seats at the London 2012 Olympics! We could even give them a name, Hitler Youth Movement maybe. Hitler and Mussolini would have been proud.

All totalitarian regimes have used children to control the population.

We emptied all the asylums and razed them to the ground. In their place we erected town halls and filled them with jobsworths.

It is not only town hall jobsworths, it is also the jobsworths employed by housing associations. Very reminiscent of neighbourhood informers in the old Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, Pavilion, who run the local slum estates, are wanting to have neighbourhood spies in every block, on every street.

- Housing association police state

George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four as a prophetic warning of the future. It has become the council jobsworth everyday work manual.

Anonymous said...

As these video clips show, High School kids have a better understanding of the issues, than either David Quirk or Roland Dibbs.

- response to Story of Stuff
- response to Story of Stuff

And for a little light relief, a music video

- "Stuff" - The Official Music Video!

If even schoolchildren can understand these issues, is it not to expect too much to expect Rushmoor councillors to also understand?

Anonymous said...

'One of the keys to mainstreaming environmental sustainability is by making it easy for people to do the right thing, rather than requiring an extra effort to choose the environmentally preferable option.' -- Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff

We do the right thing when we buy our fresh fruit and vegetables off the Tuesday market in Farnborough or visit our nearest farmers market in Guildford (first Tuesday of the month).

We do the right thing when we sort our rubbish and place it in the right wheelie bin, put all our green waste onto our compost heap (not out in those silly green bags to be trucked half-way across the county to Basingstoke).

We expect the jobsworths at the council to do the right thing and provide us with a simple recycling system.

We can put all our our plastics in the recycling bin. Er, no.

We can put our bottles in the recycling bin. Er, no.

We are provided with clear information on what can go in each bin. Er, no.

Neighbouring Guildford recycles over 40% of their rubbish.

North Kesteven, a mainly rural local authority in Lincolnshire, recycles around 60%, putting it on a par with our European neighbours.

Rushmoor hovers somewhere around 22-26%.

Now whilst accepting there is nowt as queer as folk, is the difference in folk across the country sufficient to explain the big difference in recycling rates? If not, then it must be the incompetence of the council that is to blame.

North Kesteven has a simple recycling scheme, it talks with its residents. Guildford talks with its residents. Rushmoor does neither.

Anonymous said...

A film on waste which even Rushmoor councillors should have no difficulty understanding

- The Story of Stuff

A more comprehensive look at the concept of Cradle to Cradle Design, mimicking nature, closing the loops and minimising waste

- Cradle to Cradle Design

There is a very good article by Nick Kettles on waste and the need for lifestyle changes in the July/August 2008 edition of The Ecologist.

Anonymous said...

"No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently-worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance." -- Sir Winston Churchill, Walthamstow, 1945

The following comment was posted by Robert the American on a Telegraph article re the recruiting of Stasi-style spies to spy on our fellow citizens and report 'bin crimes' and other 'eco-crimes', which somehow seems very appropriate to what is happening here in Rushmoor. I particularly liked the idea of council staff getting their teeth knocked out of their heads. But on a more serious note, is it not about time we all started putting our foot down and said no to the nonsense coming out of town halls staffed with useless jobsworths, or are we now all spineless?

- 'Environmental volunteers' will be encouraged to spy on their neighbours
- Children spying for councils? It's 1984
- Children aged eight enlisted as council snoopers

Am I missing something?
Did the Third Reich win WW2?
Is the UK a satellite of Nazi Germany?

How on earth can you people put up with this? If they tried this in the US the "council staff" and private security who tried to issue fines or demanded private information would get their teeth knocked out of their heads.

Englishmen wake up !


And not satisfied with poking their unwanted noses into our bins, according to a recent Daily Express (Tuesday 9 September 2009) council jobsworths are now dictating what we may grow in our gardens!

- Now they want to ban your lawn

Council jobsworth David Quirk asked for a big stick with which to beat local residents. Will he now be asking for an army of neighbourhood informers?

In the Second World War they called them Gautleiters and in the Cold War they were informers or traitors. I trust this little army of fascists will be appropriately kitted out in their crisp brown and black shirts. They could even be dual purpose, we could use them to pack the seats at the London 2012 Olympics! We could even give them a name, Hitler Youth Movement maybe. Hitler and Mussolini would have been proud.

All totalitarian regimes have used children to control the population.

We emptied all the asylums and razed them to the ground. In their place we erected town halls and filled them with jobsworths.

It is not only town hall jobsworths, it is also the jobsworths employed by housing associations. Very reminiscent of neighbourhood informers in the old Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, Pavilion, who run the local slum estates, are wanting to have neighbourhood spies in every block, on every street.

- Housing association police state

George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four as a prophetic warning of the future. It has become the council jobsworth everyday work manual.

Anonymous said...

Very few people seem to know about half-size wheelie bins. Few people read the local comics.

Is this intentional, that few people know? Was the intention to sneak in the half-size bins and hope to get away with it?

If nothing else, it exposes the lie that there has been consultation.

Anonymous said...

As of this morning (Wednesday 1 October 2008), the local Sainsbury's will have no plastic bags on display at the checkouts.

- Sainsbury's greenwash

Will the bags have disappeared?

No, customers will have to request them, causing checkout delays and hassle for customers and checkout staff.

This should be seen for what it is, an exercise in greenwash and hypocrisy, designed to distract from excessive and unnecessary packaging. It will fool no one, except maybe Rushmoor councillors who are easily fooled, especially by their officials. Who but a Rushmoor councillor would be fooled into believing giving households a half-size wheelie bin would cut household refuse by half?

If Sainsbury's were genuinely concerned, they would get rid of all their excessive packaging, fruit and vegetables would be loose for customers to help themselves and put in brown paper bags, as we can do on the Tuesday local market or at the farmers market in Guildford on the first Tuesday of every month, and at the checkout they would follow the example of Infinity Foods in Brighton and use biodegradable 'plastic' bags made of plant starch, or follow the example of The Deli in North Camp and use brown paper carrier bags.

If this Council was genuinely concerned to reduce waste and encourage recycling, they would be targeting the supermarkets to cut down on their excessive packaging, not fooling around with half-size wheelie bins which has nothing to do with either waste reduction or recycling.

According to a report by the BBC, Guildford now exceeds 50% recycling.

- Town 'on course' for green target

Compare this with the pathetic 22-26% achieved by Rushmoor!

At this morning's Conservative Party Conference, environment spokesman Eric Pickles said it was the role of the Conservatives to provide a first class waste collections service and that the Conservatives would not tolerate bully boy bin police.

It begs the question: What has gone wrong in the Tory-controlled Rotten Borough of Rushmoor?

One of the fruit and vegetable stalls from the Tuesday market, now also sets up stall outside Asda on a Friday.