Friday, March 16, 2007

Refuse Collection and Global Warming

It seems everything in life can now be given the global warming spin. Today the BBC carries two news stories about waste and refuse collection.

The first concerns a study that says that the UK is throwing away vast amounts of food that goes to landfills from where greenhouse gases are emitted.

The second reports that government research indicates that refuse collections every two weeks would not consitute a health hazard if the "food is wrapped properly".

I hate to see food wasted but I am not surprised that this has become an issue in society at large. Scraps used to be incorporated in meals. Now, with packaged dinners, there is no way in which scraps can be used. No stock pot, no pasties, no hot pots.

The twice weekly refuse collection idea is a bit more scary. People do not wrap their food when disposing of it! And rats have a way with opening up such tidbits anyway. Disposable diapers (nappies in the UK) are often jettisoned in garbage cans (dustbins in the UK) so you can imagine what a two week wait would do to to them. Having lived in hot climates where garbage collection was daily (Singapore) there must be a good reason for such a policy. Houston has weekly collection and thriving rat populations living around those huge skips will the ill-fitting lids. Even during a long hot summer in the UK like last year the trash containers did take on a fermentation that was rank.

To put it mildly.

By the way, my solution to all this is a waste disposal unit in the kitchen sink. Grind it up and send it off to the sanitation experts for re-cycling!

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