by Stephen Tall on April 6, 2011
Friends of the Earth is inviting the public to help decide the winner of its Talking Rubbish Award to help debunk the myths peddled by right-wing newspapers and some Tory ministers who ‘like to trash recycling’. The three nominees are as follows:
- The myth: Recycling means everyone is terrified of the ‘bin police’
“The iron fist of the municipal state has come down on people for the most minor of bin breaches.” Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary
The reality: Mr Pickles – and some noisy media commentators – give the impression that people live in fear of the ‘bin police’. In reality, studies show that 80 per cent of us are happy with our waste provision.
The myth: Tyranical bin taxes are being scrapped by the Government
“Rather than punishing struggling families with new taxes and fines, we will be supporting innovative schemes.” Caroline Spelman, Environment Secretary
The Coalition Government likes to brag about scrapping bin taxes. But in reality we still pay tax for our rubbish to be collected through council tax. Charges for waste collection have been shown to be capable of increasing recycling up to 40 per cent. In the long term that’ll mean lower council tax for everyone. Only the super-wasteful will carry the burden for what they chuck – not struggling families.
The myth: Rotting food is piling up in our homes
“Fortnightly bin collections are a naked cut to frontline services and lead to problems with vermin, bin smells and fly-tipping.” Bob Neill, Under-Secretary for Communities and Local Government
We’d actually free up money for better weekly food collections and recycling services if we got rid of expensive weekly collections of all our rubbish. So food waste would go just as quickly.