HERE’S a question for you. Have you got one of these?
Almost certainly not, unless you live in the Broadland area of Norfolk.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed one had arrived at the bottom of our garden and, peering up the street, realised that everyone else had got one too. For those who can’t read the writing on the lid, it comprises two separate food waste bins: the larger for outside, the smaller for your kitchen. The information on the bin tells you what you can put into it – tea bags, vegetation, meat, dairy, etc. These go into biodegradable bags which they have provided though they tell you that if you don’t have any, you can use a normal plastic bag. Considering how much plastic the Green Gestapo have helped remove from supermarkets, it’s surprising they advise this but never mind. It’s the campaign that matters, after all.
Unsurprisingly, and like everything else with councils, this happened after zero consultation. Not a single piece of information came in our mail about these new bins, nor were we asked to give our thoughts on them. Not content with asking people to separate their general rubbish and recycling, they are now telling us to separate our food waste, which will rot in the kitchen for a week until it is picked up. Lovely. And guess what? This is all being done under the heading ‘Save the planet, one peel at a time’. We’re not being threatened with fines if we don’t use it, but I’ll bet that’s around the corner.
The literature that came with this is sketchy at best, idiotic and ignorant at its worst. Councillor Judy Leggett informs us that Broadland District Council ‘already have the highest recycling figures in Norfolk and we want to do more to protect our environment’. Considering what the average Broadland resident has seen in the last few years, it doesn’t seem like Ms Leggett or any of her climate lunatic colleagues are interested in the environment at all. We have seen planning for more roads, housing estates and business parks in and around the area come to fruition. Some of those have come with consultations but despite the objections to some of these projects, it looks as if our views will be ignored and they will carry on regardless.
Work will be starting soon on a new housing estate in Coltishall which seems to be causing some confusion with our local councillor, Jo Copplestone, who can’t seem to join the dots between the rise in population and the ever-increasing traffic in our village. Her proposal? Cut down swathes of vegetation to build a through road so that North Walsham is accessible by two roads instead of one. This, she hopes, will ease congestion in the village but yet again, the countryside will be the loser in this and so will the wildlife, much of it finding its way on to the new roads and under the wheels of cars and trucks.
The leaflet for the food waste bins gives the impression that they are solely for OUR benefit, informing us that ‘your rubbish bin will be cleaner and less full . . . this addition to your recycling service will give YOU the opportunity to recycle more of your waste’. Yes, because we have all the time in the world. I don’t find it a pain in the backside to chuck different things into separate bins, but how much longer are we going to be asked to accommodate this fringe Net Zero group and how many more things will they put in place without our say-so?
They have a section at the back titled ‘Your Questions’. Oh yeah? I doubt anyone asked these questions because they didn’t know that they were about to receive food waste bins. Anyway, one of them asks: ‘I don’t have time to do this, why should I?’ to which the council helpfully replies: ‘It’s important to reduce the amount of food waste in our rubbish bins as it releases methane – a harmful greenhouse gas.’ Where’s the evidence for that? I know the climate scaremongers would have us believe that cattle farting into the atmosphere is dangerous to the planet but I’ve seen no evidence to suggest that common or garden refuse is causing harm to anyone. Where do they come up with this nonsense?
The leaflet also informs us that ‘just one kitchen caddy of food waste generates enough electricity to power a light bulb for 24 hours’ and ‘one truck load of food waste can generate enough electricity to power 20,000 TVs for an hour.’ Thus, my question to the council is if they’re taking our food waste to power light bulbs and TVs, will our council tax bill be reduced, since they’re using our products for power? I’ll put money on it that the answer would be a big fat No.
I despise the way councils are forcing people to pay for and accommodate their own campaigns. It’s bad enough that a green levy was transferred on to our energy bills without our knowledge or a consultation. Now, we have councils upping the ante by introducing something which will not only be a pain for people with small properties or little time on their hands but will turn their refuse into further revenue which the taxpayer will see none of.
As it is, my partner Tina knocked out a few questions to put to the council. I don’t expect anything of use to come back, just more of the same hot air that the educationally challenged Greta Thunberg has been issuing.
How much of council taxpayers’ money has been spent on this? How much was added to council tax bills to provide the bins, the literature that comes with them, the biodegradable bags, the extra cost of collecting these bins and any other attendant costs (for instance, paying for transportation to the food waste recycling centre and composting the waste)?
If you can provide free recycling of leftovers, why can’t you do the same with garden waste which, after all, is just rotting vegetation? I’d add that councils already make a profit out of garden waste, none of which comes back to the council tax payer.
Presumably once the food has been processed into fertiliser or a source of green energy, it is not given away. How much does the council stand to make from the sale of our food waste and is this going to be passed on to council taxpayers for the inconvenience of separating our rotten food for you?