Thursday, May 24, 2007

 

Liveblogging that Dispatches bin programme

Because we all know that bins are IN (if you're in local government)

21.03 - Lots of pictures of rats so far. Nice and sensationalist then.

21.06 - Oxford eh? Will be looking out for shots of our councillors running from TV crews...

21.10 - It's Jean Fooks! Not running from Channel 4, giving a nice interview pointing out how much the policy has increased recycling..

21.11 - Here comes the SCIENCE BIT!

21.12 - Does anyone know the name for an instrument that measures smells? No matter - I'll be calling it the Smellometer...

21.13 - I had to get Sheffield City Council's rat catcher in once. Nice chap - showed me where the runs were - and gave me his mobile number to call if I started to "smell any dead ones"...

21.18 - At least they have glass recycling bins in Oxford - in Sheffield they have to get stacked up in the back of the Smart Car and taken to Waitrose car park near the office (oh, how posh)

21.20 - Ad break. Does anyone else get up extra early on a Sunday morning so that no shoppers will see how many bottles of wine you've had that week?

21.22 - I have a feeling that the bin bacteria test is going to throw up some horrifying results even after one week. Has anyone seen "How Clean Is Your House"?

21.24 - I can't say I can see the concept of the Bin Police taking off around here.

21.25 - That said, our bin men do have "no-no" slips for anyone who's left their bin lid slightly open.

21.28 - Slap an ASBO on them Jim! To be honest, I find the enforcement side of this business pretty distateful. I much prefer a system driven by financial incentives - let's see how the Belgians do it...

21.30 - See, "pay as you throw" works for me. I'm not falling for any of that Daily Mail "spy in the bin" nonsense...

21.33 - Why identify Jean Fooks in Oxford as a Lib Dem but not John Garner in Tamworth as a Conservative?

21.36 - In a recycled paper mill now. I hope they mention whether they recycle plastic window envelopes - I've yet to get a straight answer on this!

21.42 - There seem to be a lot of adverts for kitchen and garden stuff in these breaks. Obviously not all politicians watching this then.

21.44 - Students, as a rule, don't know how to use a bin. I know this from when I used to be one...

21.46 - Looking at the bit on excess packaging reminds me of the "good pile - bad pile" segment from "You Are What You Eat" (continuing our theme of referring to shows where busybody Scottish women reform the lifestyles of bad people)

21.48 - Cutting down on packaging if you're a supermarket shopper is a difficult one. Only this week my Katie was telling me about her trials and tribulations when trying to buy loose mushrooms. Apparently the checkout assistant didn't take kindly to assorted fungi dancing joyfully down the conveyor belt.

21.50 - This debate seems to be veering between "it's a market problem with a market solution" to "just ban everything" - I tend to err on the side of the former...

21.53 - ...although I do like the idea of the biodegradable carrier bags!

21.55 - They seem to be standing in front of these two piles of rubbish and struggling to draw any sensible conclusions whatsoever.

21.57 - Apparently two-week-old rubbish emits solvents. Perhaps this explains the phenomenon of the Barnsley bin sniffers?

21.59 - I have a feeling that the thought of breathing in 60,000 fungal spores every time you open your bin will lead to people wearing surgical masks to do so...

22.00 - And it's over.

Not sure what we learned from that really - but I'm as certain as ever that any attempts to change the ways bins are collected will result in wide-scale moaning. Any local authorities that want to change things will have to be prepared for that.

I know the narrative was pushing the Belgian system, but having witnessed Continental recycling standards I'm not surprised. We could learn a lot from them.

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