Friday, March 29, 2024

Penn Raine: What a load of rubbish!

Ignoring the Greens because they’re crazier than a crate of snakes is my default setting although it’s hard work failing to notice that their leaders jet en masse to COP, steal stuff probably made in sweatshops and appear to support slavery.

But it’s not just Green MP’s who need a good talking to - Auckland Council, I’m looking at you.

AC are offering their annual ‘inorganic collection’ in our suburb this week. Aucklanders may remember the palmy days of yore when the collection was like a street party with broken patio chairs. Everyone piled their cast-offs neatly on the curb and wandered about collecting stuff to repurpose.

Pretty soon all that cheery sharing was put a stop to. Council pamphlet drops told us that inorganics had to be left inside our property boundary (difficult for apartment dwellers) because failure to comply was now ‘illegal dumping’ and subject to a $400 fine. Neither could items be removed by anyone other than an official.

Or some dudes nominated by the Council.

Thus, it soon became clear that the purpose of the collection was commercial, not environmental.

AC let the collection contract to a business or businesses which repair and upcycle items and on-sells them, presumably for a worthwhile profit. Nothing wrong with that. But the list of stuff that cannot now be collected includes our rotten deck timbers, and the brick and concrete wall we knocked over; used paint pots, the polystyrene that came with the new fridge, and our old toilet.

None of these items can be improved and sold, unlike furniture, appliances, electronics and sporting equipment from which the business makes its money. As for the rest of our inorganic rubbish that they used to take away… nope, sorry.

So, although it’s called ‘an inorganic rubbish collection’ it’s just another money-making business. Whereas once the non-recyclables could have been put into a single, logically chosen landfill site, where they end up now is anyone’s guess.

And on the subject of stuff we chuck out, there’s AT’s little green food scraps bins.

Yesterday I watched the collection truck stop by the two houses in our street who are still playing the greenie game. The driver got out, personally emptied the handful of scraps in each bin and drove away to perform this bespoke service around the whole suburb. Vehicles use 90% of their fuel consumption accelerating up to speed and these trucks by my reckoning are in carbon credit debt by the time they get from my place to the corner dairy.

There are about 1,865,000 households in Auckland who have had the bins foisted on them.  What has been the environmental impact of the bin manufacture, their freight from, oh let me guess, PRC, and the alleged transport of their contents to Ecogas, Reporoa, against the claimed value of this green operation?

I’m told that the food collection is not now being transported and instead is being dumped. I want this to be fake news, I really do, but local uptake in my part of Auckland is already about 30% and falling which clearly predicts a lack of future business viability -as well as civic boredom with lectures from eco-warriors.

I wish Wayne Brown could direct the Council’s smug greenwashing acolytes to doing something useful, like collecting all those abandoned orange traffic cones and recycling them into clothes pegs.

I bet he does too.

Penn Raine is an educator and writer who lives in NZ and France.


Anonymous said...

What is the source of the claim that the organic rubbish is going to the dump? I’ll save myself the time of sorting things if this is true. Uptake of this service been very low everywhere. Our neighbours use our worm farm to dispose of most of their organic waste.

Penn Raine said...

I've been trying to hunt down the person who told me this but have drawn a blank. The statement as it stands of course has no credibility and cannot be taken as fact and I'm sure Council would deny it. If uptake continues to decline it cannot be economical to truck the waste to Reporoa and this may already be the case and the source of that statement.
Even if I didn't compost already, I do not have enough freezer space to store scraps as recommended until they fill the bin and I suspect that economies of scale might mean that even our largest city cannot make the scheme work to plan.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable stupidity !
Classic Green scam.
Thousands of tons of plastic used to create organic recycling bins which are being dumped on reluctant citizens.
Who are now being bullied into collecting their smelly scraps over a 2 week period.
Then a 5 ton diesel burning truck circles the suburban streets collecting this revolting stuff , and takes in to a centre where it's transferred to a 50 ton truck.
This truck then travels 200 km to Reporoa for composting - wow, I bet the people of Reporoa are pleased !
The 50 ton truck then backloads this compost, now in heavy duty 20 litre bags to Auckland to be sold to the people who initially provided it.
They just paid an uncontestable $75 pa , plus $x to get their own composting back !
I'll bet the Greenis are grinning like Cheshire cats as they see how gullible the city citizens are !!

However, I'll also bet they will take no responsibility for people subsequently suffering from Legionese Disease from breathing in bacteria when opening their plastic bags of composting.

I'll give this crazy scheme no more than 5 years before it is abandoned.