Thursday, 17 September 2009

BCC Bin Plans, Gary Hopkin's Arrogance

A comment on my blog has pointed me rather helpfully to a thread of comments on Charlie Bolton's blog on a post which was picked up originally by the Evening Post.

The premise reported by the EP, basically is this:

Residents in Bristol are likely to be given smaller wheelie bins for their rubbish – and still only have them emptied once a fortnight.

The city council says the move will help increase the amount of rubbish being recycled. Households in the city are currently given 240-litre bins, but a smaller 180-litre bin is soon expected to become the standard size for households with between three and five people.

The 240-litre bin would be phased out and households with more than six people would be given a 180-litre and a 140-litre bin.

This shows the Council's typically totalitarian attitude towards most things now: They want people to recycle more and more, which people quite rightly aren't so willing to do whilst they see their bin collections diminishing and yet council tax rising. Also I suspect people are gaining scepticism about the benefits of recycling (like I've always had) and scepticism about Climate Change in general. In my opinion the environmentalists have fucking blown it, by ramming alarmist nonsense down our throats 24/7, and thankfully I think they're beginning to catch on.

Look, the world is not going to be saved by us recycling potato peelings or tin cans. How much difference do you think it'll make, when halfway around the world, China and India are sprouting up coal-fired power stations every week?

I, like many people, am simply not prepared to carry on paying council tax, which increases year on year, and have the council insist I turn my car into a fucking bin lorry, and my kitchen into a waste recycling and seperation centre. That's their fucking job, and most importantly, we pay them handsomely to do it. The fucking cunts.

However, it wasn't going to be long, of course, before this mustachioed moron turns up in the EP article:
Lib Dem Cabinet Councillor Gary Hopkins denied it was a long-term aim to tax people who produced too much rubbish.

Of course it fucking is. Don't insult our intelligence.

He said the authority was exploring the possibility of a voluntary "opt-in" scheme where households could elect to reduce their rubbish in return for a council tax rebate.

Yes, I expect you are, but I'm willing to bet not before you've raised council tax and reduced bin sizes and possibily collections further. Then you'll be working from such a baseline that you can give people (what I suspect to be rather meagre) rebates and still be quids in.

He said that "waste doctors" who help people with rubbish problems have always been able to resolve issues if they are prepared to recycle.

OK, how about the issue that bin collections were reduced from every week to twice monthly, saving huge amounts of money, but yet council tax has increased? Answer that fucking "issue".

So on Charlie's blog, someone who wishes to remain Anonymous quite rightly points out

So if your bin is stolen or destroyed you will get a smaller bin to replace it?

Isn't that a little unfair on those unfortunate enough to have this happen to them?

Although this is, as you say, a long term process, but the principle remains doesn't it? If you apply this logic to other situations, such as the council removing other services it doesn't stand up. What about if the beloved BCC were to announce that 1,000 citizens a year were to have the use of libraries removed by a lottery system? Having a bin stolen or damaged is a random event - so it adds up to the same.

Smaller bins doesn't mean there will be less rubbish produced. It does however mean there is less waste the council contractually are obliged to collect, and therefore a nice cost saving.

Which of course is what this is all about, though Gary Hopkins is not man enough to admit it.

Charlie comes back with typical greenwash bullshit:

As far as I am concerned, the age of chucking rubbish in a bin and off it goes has to come to an end. People, all people, need to start taking it seriously.

Why does the age of "chucking rubbish in a bin and off it goes" have to come to an end? It's what we pay the council a lot of money for. Presumably "taking it seriously" just means we ALL have to turn our kitchens into waste seperation centres. I expect Charlie's dream involves everyone recycling everything, taking all our plastic waste in our cars (spot the problem for the greeners there?) to plastic recylcling centres in supermarket car parks as well as all our tin cans, bottles, etc - but crucially he's probably not that bothered as to whether council tax reduces as a result or not, whereas that's what most normal people are frankly bothered about.

Anonymous then points out that if someone gets given a smaller bin as a replacement, they'll still be paying the same tax as someone who still has their big bin:

The service has been reduced from previous, for a select number of people, with no relevant reduction in tax.

Indeed, but this is exactly what happened when weekly waste collections were reduced to fortnightly. No reduction in tax, but it must have saved the council a fortune. They'll argue it was diverted to recycling, but I would point out that the city's recycling service was up and running at the state it is now before the change came into place, so that doesn't fucking wash.

A couple more choice quotes:

Your paragraph 4 suggests that us council tax payers need to change our habits to accommodate these cost cutting measures, so by forcing us to accept smaller bins you can influence our behaviour so it fits with your budgets and ideology. As you say, "people need to start taking it seriously".

People don't have a choice under this system, do they? They are forced to "take it seriously"


What I am interested to know is where the council ceased being a servant of the people, and started to dictate how people should behave? You are servant of the people Charlie, not a moral authority in any way shape or form, and the attitude displayed here is clearly "fcuk them if they don't want to recycle, we'll just give them smaller bins and fines until they do as we want"

Then, bugger me if Gary doesn't wade in again with a huge, stinking mound of bullshit:

From a value for money/service point iof view over the last few years we have dramatically improved the recycling service both in terms of volume and variety that can be recycled and gradually therefore reduced the amount of space for unrecycled waste.

What a load of FUCKING CRAP. How on earth has the recycling service improved? It's no different from how it was 5 years ago, but yet bin collections have "gradually" (my arse) been reduced from once a week, to once a fortnight, with no reduction in Council Tax to reflect this. In what possible fucking way is this providing "value for money"? Most people's rubbish is plastic, not tin cans and bottles. We have no choice about this, as it's how supermarkets and others package food becuase it's cheap to do so. Why then, do you not collect plastic from the door? You force us to drive it in our own cars to collection points.

If we as a council spend millions on landfill taxes and penalties then it would be the Bristol taxpayer who would be penalised.

So instead, the Bristol taxpayer is penalised by having dramatically reduced waste collection services, with no decrease in council tax.

Then the arrogance really kicks in...

The vast majority of Bristol residents have worked well with our recycling services but there are some who do not fully understand.For them we offer face to face advice and anyone who feels that they could not cope with the new bin size graded to their size of family can ask to speak to an adviser.If there is a genuine reason why they need a bigger bin they can get one.

"Do not fully understand"? Oh, we understand only too fucking well, you arrogant prick. I wonder what your face-to-face advice would say to someone who wants to know why their waste is only collected half as much as it used to be, but yet their council tax has increased?

There is a tiny minority who are just difficuilt and irresponsible enough not to respond to help offered and feel they have a right to make life difficuilt for everybody by dumping their rubbish as they see fit.
I personally do not see why this minority should dictate to the majority,damage our environment and cost everyone else in Bristol cash.

So because I'm not prepared to accept my waste collections being halved with no reduction in council tax, and I'm not prepared to turn my pride and joy into a fucking bin lorry to take my plastic waste to a collection centre (that's your job) and I'm also not prepared to turn my kitchen into a waste collection centre (again, that's your job and god knows we pay you well enough for it), I'm "difficuilt" [sic] and "irresponsible?

Pray tell how I'm damaging the environment by not recycling.

I expect to see an increase in thefts of large bins pretty soon. As well as sales of "metal bin" incinerators from B&Q increasing (which is my preferred option, fuck the environmentalists).


Anonymous said...

You are really are a bit of a prick

Bristol Dave said...

Hello Gary.

I hate the council said...

"...the council ceased being a servant of the people, and started to dictate how people should behave? You are servant of the people Charlie, not a moral authority in any way shape or form"

That is the crucial point here, Councils used to be benign providers of services to the communities who pay their vast salaries, they now see their role as being coercive, cajoling and control. Cunts.
Just for spite I make sure to screw the caps onto my recycled plastic milk bottles and include the little tear-off placky bits which really fucks up their recycling machines, cunts.

Anonymous said...

Dave - thanks for linking to my challenging of dictatorial council crap!

its Public Strutiny btw, couldn't be fucked to maintain my blogger profile due to having to work hard enough to be able to pay my council tax so these arrogant condescending rightious paper-clip pushers can turn me into a part-time dustman.

Anonymous said...

oh...and PS

"Then, bugger me if Gary doesn't wade in again with a huge, stinking mound of bullshit"

Almost pissed myself.

Public Scrutiny

AngryDave said...

All people will do is fly tip or burn their rubbish.
The council just refuse to take the rubbish, so it has to be got rid of somehow.

Anonymous said...

and fine the fuck out of you if you get caught.

How about we take the 100 or so litre capacity difference and dump it weekly on college green?

I expect they'll arrest me now under the prevention of terrorism act

AngryDave said...

If you dont tow the party line these days you are classed as a terrorist. I would imagine that if you did dump excess rubbish on college green, you would be under surveilance for the rest or your natural life.

Anonymous said...

- ....mooning out the window.