Moan, moan, moan!

Sometimes, I talk a load of garbage. This moan, which went into Bill’s Underground Edition on 27 May, is no exception, as you’ll see.


This really is a load of absolute rubbish. No, I don’t mean The Underground Edition, but the idea that councils think they ought to be able to get away with fortnightly collections of refuse. Notice how they don’t call it ‘fortnightly collections’ but ‘alternate-weekly collections’?

I heard the environment minister Ben Bradshaw use that self-same term on Radio 4 this last week. Talk about euphemisms – it just goes to show how politicians at all levels and of all political colours like to play with semantics in order to bury bad news – in the rubbish pile in this case.

The claim is that it will encourage recycling. Now here in Llanpillock in the wildest parts of the wild west of West Wales it’s easy to recycle some waste: with food you just dump it in woodland and let the nonhuman creatures have a go at it. It’s easier to compost stuff. We’re more likely to have real fires, so much stuff can be burned. In towns? Not so easy. The stuff can sit in a wheelie bin and stink for weeks in the summer.

So what’s the thinking? I’ll tell you: it’s to save money, that’s what it is.

Another stupid idea verging on the criminal is to charge extra for waste collection, because some people create more than others. I can see some logic in that, but aren’t you then in danger of saying those people with kids should pay for the schools, because their kids use them and others’ kids don’t? Well, I mean, those who don’t have kids.

What about street cleaning? We all pay for that, but we don’t get it in Llanpillock – or in nearby Llanbollock. Or, indeed, anywhere hereabouts. We just get a lorry twice a year – if we’re lucky – sweeping the lanes. Yes our streets are just that, lanes, and down them often walk cattle from field to milking parlour and back again, because many farms straddle roads – I mean lanes. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what’s left behind. Do we complain? Well, only those who’ve come in from the towns and expect townie ways, but those who love the countryside because it is the countryside don’t. They just accept it.

But I’m getting away from the point. They think that (a) they ought to be able to get away with the idea that they can save money with fortnightly collections and (b) that they can charge extra for this one service.

That’s politicians for you. I don’t really have to have a go at them in this little slot: they bring all the combined odium of the people on themselves.

Rubbish, the lot of ’em. 

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About Andrew John

Andrew John is a writer, editor and broadcaster with Celtica, providing, among other things, a weekly moan on a topic in the news. He spends much of his life moaning and criticising, and is crap company at parties. But just humour him. He's not a bad bloke, really.

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