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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Smell of National Bankruptcy

And environmentalism. The British government wants to change garbage pick ups to once every two weeks:

Only special containers for food waste and recyclable material such as paper, cardboard and glass will be collected weekly from outside homes.

Councils hope that the move will encourage residents to recycle more, reducing the amount of waste dumped in landfill sites, where it is taxed by the ton. Taxpayers will face fines if they do not place their rubbish in the correct bins.

Polls show that nearly three quarters of householders are opposed to having “black bag” rubbish collected fortnightly.

Imagine a private company trying to pull that stunt and getting away with it. Despite the decreased service don't expect British rate payers to get a rebate on their taxes. Note the partially sincere argument that this is done to encourage recycling. I'm not saying that it will, but the drive of western governments over the last twenty years in reducing waste is getting more desperate. To reduce garbage means reducing living standards, which short of a major war people are not willing to do. That governments are running out of ways of disposing of garbage is no excuse. As with calls for energy conservation, the mantra of reducing garbage is a confession of incompetence. Just as no private company, in a field where competition was free and open, would dare dramatically reducing service and maintain price, no private company would tell its consumers to stop using its product, because it can't keep up with demand.

Posted by Richard Anderson on February 24, 2010 | Permalink


Actually, Publius, you're quite wrong. People really don't give a rip what bin they put something into, so long as it's picked up. With more and more materials being recycled, the amount of black-bag trash being generated is smaller and smaller.

We're a family of four, and our recycling is so bulky (even after compacting) that it fills two 100-litre bins a week. Over the same period we don't generate enough trash to fill even one bag. And that's with a kid in diapers. Once we install a garburator that tally will drop even further.

By the way, your private-company comparison doesn't really hold water, because the government makes no money off trash collection and disposal. If rates were increased to the point where profits appeared, you'd be the first to complain.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-02-24 9:10:15 AM

"If rates were increased to the point where profits appeared, you'd be the first to complain."

Quite the argument. Have you ever heard of efficiency? Unless you think the government is more efficient than private industry (oh wait ... with an argument like that you probably do). Why don't we just governments running all industries if you're so opposed to profits?

Posted by: Charles | 2010-02-24 11:23:03 AM

Apparently the local governments have no real powers anymore. Still have the local bureaucracy of course.

Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2010-02-25 6:53:58 PM

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