Feeds

Bin charging back on as Brown gets dizzy

Chip'n'bin misery for celebrity muckrakers foretold

Reports this morning have it that government plans for bin charging are back on, after an apparent attack of cold feet by the Prime Minister last week.

Measures which would allow local councils to levy charges on people throwing away amounts of rubbish deemed to be excessive - in order to encourage recycling - appeared to have been shelved, perhaps until after Gordon Brown had fought an election. However, "pay as you throw" provisions have now been inserted into the draft Climate Change bill.

The latest governmental swerve seemed to come immediately ahead of a scathing Parliamentary committee report, in which the influential Public Accounts Committee warned that Blighty faced being slapped with swingeing annual fines of £180m by the Brussels euro-government unless the proportion of rubbish being recycled was upped.

Under a 1999 EU directive, Britain must cut the amount of biodegradable waste going to landfill to 6.3 million tonnes in 2020. Some 18.1 megatonnes of paper, teabags, food waste etc was dumped in 2003-04, apparently: as if 30 times the entire world population of blue whales had beached themselves around Blighty's coasts and the rotting carcasses had all been hurled on the tip*.

According to Edward Leigh of the Public Accounts Committee:

If the UK misses these targets, taxpayers will have to stump up the money to pay a huge fine to the European Commission... The alternative [to sorting out recycling] is a never-ending search for more holes in which to bury our rubbish mountain.

Annual fines of £180m would increase the UK net contribution to EU finances by as much as 7 per cent, based on the 2003 figures.

Fevered speculation at once broke out (in the Reg offices if nowhere else) as to the technological/lurid-celebrity-lifestyle consequences of all this.

One popular tactic for rubbish charging, apparently, is the use of sinister chipped-up RFID smart bins, programmed to turn stool pigeon and rat out decent hardworking noncompliant teabag-users to the cheese-scoffing autocrats of Brussels.

And worse - honest celebrity muckrakers toiling for our entertainment by grubbing through Paris Hilton's/minor royals' rubbish would be put out of business by outsourced council data centres in China, able to monitor everything that celebrities put in their bins via satellite (somehow) and automatically sell it to the news media; while still penalising honest hardworking pervert householders who just want to read about what Paris Hilton does with her old bras and sex tapes, etc. ®

*Equivalent to 83.5 adjusted gigajubblies in Reg units. Or something.

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.