Thursday, 23 July 2009

“My old man’s a dustman…”

“…he carries out vital social research for the council…”:
Nearly 100 town halls ordered secret searches of their residents' rubbish bins last year.

The official aim was to find out who was throwing out what to help councils encourage recycling.

But some staff examining the contents of bins also classified residents as well-off or poor.
Based on what?

Old copies of ‘The Sun’, fast-food cartons, ASDA Smartprice food wrappers = poor?

Old copies of ‘The Guardian’, organic ciabatta wrappers, Waitrose food packaging = not poor?

I guess we’ll never know – they don’t seem to want to show their work:
Eleven councils in Kent allowed the bins from more than 2,000 homes to be scrutinised by officials working for the Kent Waste Partnership.

Waste was dumped into a big pile and sorted into 66 different categories, which included ten types of paper and card, 11 types of plastic, five sorts of glass, six kinds of textiles and a miscellaneous category that included disposable nappies, carpet and sanitary waste.
Not sure how you could possibly ascertain social status from any of that…

Oh, and this is another own-goal for Labour’s FOIA:
The bin trawls, uncovered through Freedom of Information requests, have been criticised as an invasion of privacy and a waste of effort.

One council chief said he strongly objected to the examination of waste unless specific permission is obtained from the householder.

Jeremy Kite, Tory leader of Dartford in Kent, said: 'I do not believe it is right.'
Not many people will.

Or accurate, either…

Obo has some choice words for these literal muckrakers.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is all very well for the government to give us the power to monitor all emails, but we need to have our undercover squads at work with local councils, retrieving certain hard evidence from bins.

I mean, those receipts from Harrods and Harvey Nichs don't grow on trees you know.

I Scratchet,
Inland Revenue Services.

Sue said...

I just read the link at Obo's.

I am simply baffled at how you all think that this is an EU initiative. I have mentioned before how we do things here in Spain. We have communal bins, that get emptied EVERY NIGHT.

We have recycling stations too, but they are usually a car drive away.

We DO NOT SORT our rubbish. It all goes into one big bin.

I don't know if the Spanish authorities sort the stuff out later, I doubt it.

This is a NewLiebour LIE! It's an excuse to bully, spy and create NON JOBS.

Rob said...

Were they going to charge 'rich' and 'poor' different rates for emptying bins? Were the 'rich' going to be punished by not having their bins emptied at all?

It is bad enough that they did it; worse is that I can't see the reason why they did it. Surely not just because they are a bunch of authoritarian, marxist loonies?

JuliaM said...

"I mean, those receipts from Harrods and Harvey Nichs don't grow on trees you know. "

Heh!

"This is a NewLiebour LIE! It's an excuse to bully, spy and create NON JOBS."

There's some things they ARE happy to blame on the EU. Stops us turning on THEM...

"It is bad enough that they did it; worse is that I can't see the reason why they did it."

For the same reasons councils always do these things. Because they can. And because you never know when the information will come in handy...

blueknight said...

This may have more to do with 'social mobility' than with green issues.
Under Nulabor,the rich are richer and the poor poorer and there is less chance now of somebody from the 'poor class' getting a 'good' job than there was under Margaret Thatcher.

Henry Crun said...

Sue, I think you'll find that it is indeed an EU directive. It's just that the rest of Europe take no notice. Labour on the other hand, just can't help themselves and love to implement new legislation that gives more power to the council prodnoses and stickybeaks.