Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The wedding / Recycling

I went to a wedding Saturday. It was the worst wedding I've ever been to. We arrived 2:45 for the 3:00pm ceremony. I'm an athiest but I'm prepared to sit through it all with due reverence. The vicar thought he was a comedian and was cracking jokes all through. Oh what larks he had. The ceremony finished at 3:45 and we had to have our photos taken. Ten minutes later we all mosied along to the church hall next door for the reception. The people in there said "We're not ready for you you're not booked in until 5:oo." So everyone fucked off to the pub. I went across the road to the music shop and in my best suit (Yes I have a suit) I spent half an hour playing guitar. (and tuning their Mandolins for them)
I get back to the "reception" the bride and groom were upset all of their guests had fucked off. Boy scout runners wee sent to get them back from the pub. The guests had to down pints in quick time to get back they weren't amused. So summoned back to the reception they all went in and sat down at their allotted tables. There were peanuts and pretzels on the tables. That was it. No real food. Nothing happened.
5:30 nothing happened. There was a bar and we had to pay for our drinks.
5:45 nothing happened. We all changed tables to sit with people we actually knew.
6:00 nothing happened. All the peanuts were gone and the pretzels we were starving waiting for the real food to arrive.
6:15 nothing happened. people grumbled that they were starving they'd been on the road since 9:00am and hadn't eaten a thing, expecting some sort of buffet.
6:30 The speaches finally happened. But still no food. I was getting dizzy.
6:45 Speaches over still no food.
7:00 I went home taking a few friends with me to drop them off at the pub.

Tonight I found out from someone who stayed that a load of other people left as well shortly after me. Others disappeared to the fish and chip shop in desperation for "food". I've never been to a wedding where there wasn't at least sandwiches. I've never been to a wedding where I've had to buy drinks right from the start.

Tonight my daughter asked me what she should do with her old batteries. In theory you're not supposed to put them in your bin. All that cadmium and heavy metals. So I had an idea. Why not have everyone bring their old used batteries to my shop? It makes sense. No one else is doing anything about old batteries and we're the logical drop off point as I own an electrical shop. The only trouble is I'll get a million batteries dumped on me and then I'll have to pay to have them disposed of in an enviromentally friendly way. So tomorrow I'm going to phone the council and see if we can't come to some sort of arrangement where I agree to be a dumping ground for old batteries and they don't charge me for doing a public service.

There's the new WEEE directive just come into force last week. That's Waste Electrical Electronic and some other E, whereby retailers have a duty to recycle old TV's, computers and other electrical goods.
The only trouble with that is it costs the retailers to do it. We've long since stopped taking in fridges for repair. You phone up the customer to collect their fridge because it's beyond economic repair and they never turn up to collect it. So it costs you £20 to send it to the scrap yard.
That's why in the coming years fly tipping is going to be a huge problem. You'll be driving along a lovely country road looking for wild flowers and admiring the scenery and there will be a huge pile of TVs, toasters, irons, computers, washing machines, fridges in a ditch. So who is going to pay to clear up that mess? YOU.
Why are they making these rules, then making it so difficult to get rid of rubbish. Already as a trader I am not allowed to get rid of rubbish at the tip. If I had an old cooker I can take it in my anonymous car to the tip for recycling. But if I go to the same tip in my trade van with the same cooker they will turn me away. What should I do?

Before people used to buy flurescent tubes from me and say "can you get rid of the old one?"
"Yes of course." and we'd sling it in our skip.
Now we can't take the old flourescent tubes. We have to refuse them or incur the wrath of the council. So what do the customers do?Put them in their wheelie bins. Which end up in the same place.
So it's all very well saying "Yes we're recycling stuff." but the council are making it very hard to do it. I will do my utmost to help with the recycling effort and the responsible disposal of waste. But the powers that be are not helping me. In fact I am being penalised for doing my bit. Because I am a trader.
We now have, for each house, Black wheelie bins for rubbish. We have brown wheelie bins for recycleable rubbish, and we have green wheelie bins for garden waste. In the street next to us the pavement is covered with bins the pavement is useless because there are so many bins lining the street. They are visual pollution in themselves.

We used to take in old Braun rechargeable toothbrushes for recycling. We had crates full of the buggers. No one wanted them. To get someone to take them they wanted hard cash. They ended up in land fill. Much to my disgust. Where's the sense? The government wants us to be responsible but no one has put in the infrastructure to do it. It's a mess.

We all want to protect our planet. We want to do the right thing. But it's all going to end up in ditches and road sides. Costing us more in the long run. It's about time the government started seeing sense and instead of just saying "recycle responsibly", give us the means to do it without going bankrupt in the process.

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