Thursday, 18 March 2010
For God's sake go... now!
The latest bit of stupidity from the government’s Department of the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is a proposal for new and complicated recycling laws that will require households to have up to five separate bins for their household waste. Placing a used teabag in the wrong bin could result in a £1000 fine. And if you don’t think it could happen, bear in mind that local councils up and down the country have been using emergency powers granted under the Terrorism Act to spy on householders and prosecute them for inappropriate handling of waste. Whatever happened to Britain’s treasured tolerance that the government is so fond of telling us about?
The new proposals are the ‘brainchild’ of environment secretary Hilary Benn (son of that old Socialist warhorse Tony Benn), who wants to banish all food, cans, paper and glass from landfill sites to increase recycling rates and slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Slop buckets, already used to collect food scraps in millions of homes, would be extended to the whole country, adding another bin to the three or four already parked in many gardens and drives.
Councils would be under greater pressure to enforce recycling rules, and to use fines to punish those who refuse to cut down on their waste. But even councils are warning that compulsory slop buckets would go down badly with the voters.
Gary Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association Environment Board, said: “DEFRA must not create a situation where every householder in the country is forced to have a separate bin for their food waste. It must be up to councils, working with their residents, to find the best ways of cutting rubbish going to landfill.”
With only weeks to go until a General Election, the government is spewing new initiatives like a teenager after too many alcopops. Perhaps the ruling party genuinely believes it’s set to rule for the next 1000 years. Gordon’s Reich clearly doesn’t know when the game is up. Won’t someone pass the man a cyanide capsule and a pearl-handled revolver?