I’ve just come across lund.co.uk/blog which is the blog of Tim Lund a Sydenham resident.
Tim has an excellent piece about his trip round the MRF, where our recycling goes. He says:
Bringing this down to the personal, the message for us was that what the dustbin men were doing was okay, and that even if we were prepared to go to the trouble of separating plastics, metals, etc., not enough other people would, and, along with everyone else putting what suited Veolia in a single, separate green wheelie bin was the best compromise. Unduly ‘green’ messages would be counter productive – on the one hand over enthusiastic adopters (us) would get disillusioned when we see our efforts mocked by what the dustmen actually do, while the less enthusiastic just can’t be bothered. So somehow Veolia, in real live, bottom-line-relevant-to-them partnership with local authorities, community groups have to try to manage everyone’s behaviour. Isn’t that one difficult and (small p) politically charged message to get across? Well, that’s the complementary challenge to the purely technical one for the Veolia management. Should we worry that we are being used? I don’t think so necessarily – we lived in a mixed economy, and it’s not obvious that other sorts of economy work better.