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Recycling Waste And Unwanted Politicians

Our recent post on Illegal Dumping and Weee collection here in Thurles, forces Thurles native Proinsias Barrett to put ‘pen to paper ‘ or should I say, in his case, ‘fingers to keyboard.’

More is the pity that others of our discerning readers do not follow suit, (Hint, Hint ) and express their views, remembering the quote by Irish political philosopher Edmund BurkeAll that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

(Note: Leave a Comment tag is directly under each daily Post and we do really love hearing your views.)

Proinsias Comments:

“Where do we recycle unwanted politicians, or indeed unsuccessful former City Council Managers?

In Ireland Seanad Éireann is a good hiding place for rubbish politicians. They can keep their heads down and draw a good salary, or as recently mentioned in a national press article, they can decide to slip away to spend more time with their outrageously generous pensions…. and reminisce on all those great deeds they performed for the sake of Ireland. City Council Managers who presided over numerous fiasco’s simply find a gullible County Council to take them on as ‘County Managers‘, it’s great!

I see Thurles now has a third recycling bin added lately, a brown bin for food waste and garden clippings, grass etc. We got the full three bin system here in Galway City back in 2000/2001 and in general we are told is working out well enough. But where is this ‘fly-tipping ‘ (illegal dumping) epidemic emanating from? Obviously there are people who don’t subscribed to any collection service and these facts are well known by Councils. If a household is not signed up to a collection service then what are they doing with their rubbish?

The simple remedy for this situation is to ensure that everyone is subscribing to a collection service, and if they are not then it is up to the Council to find out why? If it is for financial reasons, then some arrangement has to be made with these ‘go-it-alones‘ until such time as the three bin system evolves and recycling achieves an 80% re-use rate and charges are substantially dropped for the household. Recycling will have to become just another routine in everyone’s life.

But I have always disagreed with the flat charge for household waste collection. From the first introduction of the wheelie bin system here in Galway a decade ago, I submitted my ideas to the City Council (for all the interest they showed) when the public was invited to submit ideas relating to waste management etc.  If households are properly separating their refuse, with intent, into the corresponding bins, the only charge on the household should be on the land fill bin, the one which contains items which cannot be recycled.
I went so far as to suggest that if households comply completely with recycling directives and recommendations, they should be paid for the raw materials they are giving the collection companies every week for free.
The Recycling industry is obviously a financially viable one, else no-one would be in the business. Why charge for what is essentially a raw material being collected and re-used (paper, cardboard, plastic, tin etc)

Again it’s a case of just not following through on introduced legislation. People are left to their own devices as usual. There are no inspectors (yep, bin inspectors, we had them in Galway for about two months when the bins were first introduced, then removed due to a lack of funding). Still almost twelve years on from the recycling initiative in Galway many apartment complexes are still operating a communal skip system … just throw in your black plastic sack full of everything and off it goes to land fill, and the Council aren’t interested. Some apartment dwellers share a three bin system with their neighbours resulting in one apartment making huge efforts to recycle everything and their neighbour dumping black sacks of mixed refuse into which ever bin appears least used.
Without a common sense approach backed up by information, encouragement and finally enforcement, our recycling system here in Ireland is becoming another half hearted attempt, handed over to private operators, and now there is a multinational demanding that an incinerator be opened at Poolbeg in Dublin which will require massive tonnage to ensure viability, this is a complete reversal of recycling initiatives…. one hand doesn’t seem to know what the other is doing! Oh Man! “

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