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One (rubbish) reason why Wales voted Leave

From Wales Online:

Burning rubbish, begging neighbours and driving miles to a tip – how families are dealing with monthly bin collections

Families are being forced to burn rubbish in one of the first areas to move to once-a-month waste collections.

People living in Conwy have spoken of their four-weekly collection “nightmare”.

While all the recycling, food waste and nappy bins are collected weekly the black bin is only taken once a month.

Even after a month, any black bags that won’t fit in residents’ wheelie bins will not be taken away.

Residents, in particular those with children, say they have to beg older neighbours to take their waste and even have to burn their rubbish to get rid of it or stand in the wheelie bin to help create room for more waste.

Other areas are also moving to a longer period between each bin collection, including Anglesey which will see their waste collection stretched to three weeks.

The very unpopular reduction in frequency of bin collections is widely seen as being a result of an EU target that 50% of household waste must be recycled by 2020. It is actually more complicated than that because the good boys and girls in the Welsh and Scottish governments had separately set their own “more ambitious” reycling targets. But those targets aren’t popular either, certainly not in Wales as their practical effects begin to show.

As reported by today’s Daily Mail,

Councils dealt with nearly 900,000 incidents of illegal dumping in 2014/15, with nearly two thirds of cases involving household waste. In Bury, Greater Manchester, where three-weekly collections were introduced two years ago, fly-tipping rose by 53 per cent in 2014/15 – compared to an average increase in England of 6 per cent.

Janet Finch-Saunders, Conservative assembly member for Aberconwy, north Wales, said: ‘There is a fly-tipping epidemic looming – it is only going to get worse if this four-weekly collection continues. North Wales is an area with seaside resorts and towns that rely on tourism.

Nor did it make the EU target any more beloved when it was reported that, perversely, the UK could face millions of pounds in EU recycling fines because it has reduced consumption of paper and cardboard and so produces less paper waste to recycle.

19 comments to One (rubbish) reason why Wales voted Leave

  • Bruce

    You can guarantee that the thieving bastards in “government” are still gouging the same (or more) in rates / taxes from the peasants for this drastic reduction in “service”.

    There is probably a nice, handy municipal office that has room for a few thousand bags of rotting trash each week.

  • Andrew Duffin

    Says little Emily in the linked article: “If the UK fails to recycle 50 per cent of household waste by 2020 it could face fines from Brussels in excess of £500,000 a day…”

    No, dear; do try to keep up. By 2020 the EU will have no power fine the UK anything for any reason.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Andrew Duffin, though I take great pleasure in noting that the EU targets will soon cease to be relevant to us in the UK, the writer was keeping up at the time that article was written in November 2014.

  • Stonyground

    “There is probably a nice, handy municipal office that has room for a few thousand bags of rotting trash each week.”

    That was my immediate thought as well. I’m surprised that it hasn’t occurred to lots of people to hand deliver their rubbish to their local council offices. I wonder how much it costs to deal with the fly tipping compared to the cost of collecting the rubbish properly?

  • the other rob

    Emptying the bins is the only thing that most people get for their Council Tax. Sadly, non of the places we lived in England were any good at it either.

    Here in our little town in Texas, the council is corrupt as hell, but they do manage to empty the bins. There are giant dumpsters (no picking through your trash to sort it here) in the alley that are emptied weekly. If one fills up early, you can call the dump and they’ll have a nearby truck perform a brief diversion and give it an unscheduled emptying.

    There’s probably a Mussolini analogy in there, somewhere.

  • John B

    Well they keep voting these clowns in, so it is hard to feel any sympathy.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    John B, the Aberconwy constituency voted Conservative in both the last general election and the last Welsh Assembly election. Not that it would vitiate my sympathy if they had voted for some other party.

  • llamas

    Here in Michigan, individual, private domestic services like having your trash hauled away are no business of the government. Even in socialist hell-holes like Detroit. And our trash hauler (a subsidiary of Waste Management) will take durn-near anything. If it’s too big for the compacter truck, they’ll send a flatbed. And they recycle a lot of what they haul – for Profit! They have a gigantic sorting facility, including a trammel that must be 100 feet long, and in the spring, we go buy the compost that they made from last year’s trash. Why is this any business of the ‘council’?



  • bobby b

    “Why is this any business of the ‘council’?”

    Two justifications, one bad, one good:

    1. It’s a marvelous opportunity for graft. Politicians wishing to send public money to their cronies and contributors are sometimes limited because, in order to qualify to fulfill most public contracts, you need some technical expertise or capital-intensive equipment. With garbage-hauling contracts, your buddies only need to buy five or ten worn-out garbage trucks, and the money can flow their way.

    2. I once lived in a dense urban area mostly full of welfare types. (I was in school – it was cheap.) The city tried to switch to private hauling. The people in my neighborhood were the type who would only pay bills they had to pay. If they didn’t pay electric, their lights went out. If they didn’t pay their gas bill, it got cold. If they didn’t pay their garbage bill, they had to throw their garbage in the alley on the ever-growing pile. So, they didn’t pay their garbage bills. Come spring, as things thawed, the stench was eye-watering, and then the piles started moving as the rats multiplied. The city went back to municipal hauling.

  • Hedgehog

    Why is this any business of the ‘council’?

    My sentiments exactly. Hauling trash can be done profitably by private enterprise. As can a great many other things.

    Different countries have different hang-ups about what should or should not be done by government, sometimes for obscure historical reasons. In many cases, of course, it boils down to the fact that government gets involved in something to “cure a market failure” and then proceeds to screw things up worse than the market ever did. Being a monopoly provider with the police on your side will do that.

  • Patrick Crozier

    “The great thing about landfills is that if we need any of it again we’ll know where to find it.”

    Said somebody, sometime.

  • Lee Moore

    I rented a holiday cottage in Wales for a couple of weeks last year, and the rubbish arrangements were indeed ludicrous. I think they were on a three weekly cycle and of course the general bin was full when we arrived. So we had to drive to a tip 20 miles away. When we got there they insisted that the bag of general rubbish was sorted and thrown into different dumpsters. Had to wait five minutes until the relevant backs were turned so I could chuck my unsorted bag in one of the dumpsters, and then drive off Starsky and Hutch style before they could complain.

  • john

    I’m with Llamas on this one. We have two competing commercial haulers here and they both do a better job at a cheaper price than the politically connected one I had to use at my last house. The only gripe I have with them is… I can’t get them to go for a 3 or 4 wk pick up. Or, they *will* but they still insist I pay for weekly. We are a family of 4 and I can’t imagine how in the world people generate enough trash to fill a bin every single week… Once a month would be fine.

  • Paul Marks

    Without the Welsh the United Kingdom would not have voted for independence – as with so many struggles for British independence over the centuries the Welsh were vital and largely OVERLOOKED.

    Most Welsh people have historically voted for the Labour Party – but that is for historical reasons (now fading). The Welsh do not, as a rule, like being ordered about – they do not make a religious cult out of statism as so many people in Scotland do. Perhaps because they are less “educated”.

    The E.U. is all about bossing people about – and most Welsh people do not like being bossed about. It really is that simple.

  • Fred Z

    Surely you lazy Brits can find the addresses of the local politicos who supported these absurdities and then use the Services of “Midnight Garbage Disposal and Delivery”.

    Do be sure to clip the addresses off anything identifying.

  • Slartibartfarst

    After working as a sheep-shearer in Snowdonia National Park for 15 years, one thing one learns is that the Welsh dislike for being pushed around by the English (“Twll din pob sais”) is only exceeded by their dislike of being pushed about by the French or Germans.
    As my old schoolmate Gareth put it some time back:

    “The reason I had to take over the running of the mill at age 15 with my Ma was my Da had his head blown off in the war by those f#cking Germans. And if it wasn’t for the bloody French protective economic policies for their sh#t-useless farmers in the eeyou I’d still be running a productive and profitable woollen mill instead of having to turn it into some sort of f#cking museum to eke out a living, so that foreign tourists can come in coachloads and wander round staring at stuff like we’re from the Dark Ages or something and then sit around drinking cups of tea in our cafe.”

    Similarly when I spoke to another old schoolmate, Hywel, on the phone today, when I asked him what he thought of the news that the Swansea heddlu (police) had arrested a suspected terrorist today, he swore profanely (“Iesu Grist”) and said:

    “That’s another f#cking problem with the eeyou is all those bloody foreigners having free access to our communities and it’s made some places unsafe to go out at night. I bet when they dare to finally release his name, it’ll be something like Dafydd or Mohammed f#cking Aneeda-Sheet or something. It really pisses me off, I can tell you.”

    But one suspects that there is probably more to the Welsh Brexit vote than just xenophobia or an elevated dislike of the EU. Wales has, up until now, had an amazing run with huge infrastructure grants and loans from the EU, providing the budgets for such things as, for example, superb motorway systems, university campus sites and new leisure centres. However, it is now time for the EU to call in the dues for this largesse, and the thrifty Welsh Assembly may well wish to avoid payment.
    Easy solution? Brexit.

  • The same idiocy recently began in (at least some parts of) Scotland. Each house is now issued with 4 colours of large wheelie bin and two colours of crate, and a complicated schedule of what is permissible in each one and which types are collected when. The result, as in the OP, is that if you miss a date or get it wrong then the new sport of dancing in the bin is for you.

    The council periodically checks the bins for conformity to type. If passing pedestrians or walkers put something ‘inappropriate’ in your bin as it stands out awaiting collection, you may receive a rude letter, with threats of action to follow, from the council. (I speak from knowledge of a specific case. Blaming the discrepancy – justly – on passersby using a nearby right-of-way has so far deferred the ‘further action’ in that case.)).

    As there is a great discrepancy in the volumes of each type of waste produced, the bins are usually jammed full or mostly empty by the time collection day arrives. Good neighbours sometimes arrange to share a bin of a mostly-empty colour, thus reducing the clutter of all these bins in the average drive. AFAICS, the council does nothing to encourage this – but at least they don’t actually object when they don’t see all the bins they ‘should’ standing in front of each house.

    It had not previously occurred to me that this was part of the SNP’s campaign to stay in the EU. 🙂 I think the Scottish remain vote might have been sensibly diminished if that had been widely publicised. But it may be of course that the SNP thought of it all by themselves.

  • Paul Marks

    Niall – I hope you are right in your view that the Scottish “Remain” vote would be reduced by knowing more about the sort of endless petty interference the E.U. is about. And to just by your name you know more about the Scotland than I do. I just have long had the impression that Scots tend to carry through principles to their end conclusions. That is good when the principle is good – but bad when the principle is bad.

    Slartibartfast – you describe the Welsh in your unique way. Good.

  • Surellin

    May I suggest to the good people of Wales that, if they find themselves in possession of too much trash, they drop it off on the front steps of whatever idiots created this abomination?