27 September 2011

Recycling - Will this little initiative really make much difference ?

Here is a recent press release issued by Barnet Council:-

Mayor Lisa Rutter & Councillor Old ( rather crumpled suit ! )
A new campaign has been rolled out on the roads of Barnet aimed at raising awareness of the economic benefits of recycling.

Funded by Recycle for London (RfL), new banners have been added to 10 of Barnet Council’s refuse collection trucks, highlighting how much money residents have saved over the course of the last year.

During 2010, Barnet residents saved a staggering £1 million by recycling materials through the council’s weekly kerbside collection scheme and by using the recycling banks service.

Unveiling the new banners at the Council’s Mill Hill Depot yesterday afternoon (Monday 19 September), The Worshipful the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Lisa Rutter said:

“This is an excellent achievement by our residents who are conscientiously sorting their household waste for recycling each week. I am delighted we have saved so much by diverting valuable materials from landfill, although there is still much more to do.
We're now able to recycle over 70 per cent of our total household waste, but at present only around 33 per cent of household waste is being recycled.

"The rising cost of landfill tax will only make this more of a challenge in the future. However I'm sure with our residents' help we can all play our part in recycling more."

Contact Press Officer: Mike Langton

Now Mr Mustard is all in favour of recycling, he would start with his 3 ward councillors but he has to wait until 2014 to do that, and so he ought to be pleased with this little effort that has been made but he isn't and this is why.

Well for a start these posters will only be seen by residents who happen to be around.

The banners are not so inspiring that they are likely to get new people to recycle.

They have been funded by Recycle for London and the cynical bit of Mr Mustard thinks that is the only reason why the initiative has happened. If Barnet Council hadn't been funded they wouldn't have bothered?

They are only on "10 of" the refuse trucks i.e. not on all of them. If this is such a good idea why not put the banners on all trucks and on the recycling lorries and every other vehicle that Barnet Council possess including the mayoral car.

Residents may have saved £1m but the payment to May Gurney is £290,000 a month so that equates to £3.5m in a year ( including for running the Summers Lane facility ). May Gurney get half of the value of everything that you recycle that is sold. Does that sound like good value to you? No, nor to Mr Mustard.

May Gurney got a bonus of £889,000 for this in the year to 31 March 2011. That is money that should have come off your council tax bill. About £3 each.

The recycling rate of Barnet isn't "an excellent achievement" Recycling 33% of waste against a possible 70% is a diabolical performance. In Barnet Council it is normal to miss targets by such a wide margin and think it a reason to celebrate.

Yes people should recycle more but these banners aren't the solution.

You need to be much more dynamic and radical Barnet Council. 

Go back to the drawing board and start again with a clean sheet. Look at what successful boroughs and successful countries do and make radical changes to the whole set-up.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. Our borough is apparently rubbish (so to speak) at organising recycling from flats.

    I understand that Boris the Mayor recently offered all boroughs some cash for capital expenditure on appropriate bins and so on, but Barnet refused, because of the on-going revenue implications.


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.