Good sense on recycling at last


This rather shocks me, someone is being sensible about recycling at last:

Traditionally recycling performance has been measured in terms of tonnage of material. Under the new system, tonnage diversion levels will be weighted by applying a ‘carbon factor’ to the materials collected, which takes into account the environmental benefits of recycling those materials over sending them to landfill.  This is believed to be the first attempt anywhere in the world to apply climate change thinking to waste management performance measurement.

Full marks to "Zero Waste Scotland" for this idea. For as we keep being told, we've got to recycle in order to stop the planet burning up. Therefore, as you would think people would already have cottoned on to, we should be measuring what we recycle and how by how well doing so stops the planet burning up. That everyone should have done this earlier is true but more joy in heaven over one sinner repentant etc.

However, while I might applaud this I'm certain that very few greenies will and nor will Zero Waste Scotland. Indeed, I have a very strong feeling that this will be quietly dropped and not spoken of again. You know, in the manner that random eructations while at tea with aunts are never spoken of.

For what they're going to find is that, measured by how well we prevent the planet from burning up, we already recycle too much. For example, we crush up green glass to be used as underlay for roads: this produces more CO2 then simply dumping it. Dumping waste food underground and collecting the methane (as we do at every landfill now) produces fewer greenhouse gases than sticking it into a wormery: worms do that eructation thing you see, just with NOx which is 10 times more polluting that methane.

I'm all in favour of doing the right things to reduce pollution: I'm also all in favour of measuring properly what we're actually doing. For only then can we work out what those right things are to reduce pollution. So full marks, as I say, for this initiative.

And I look forward to the publication of the full results: that is, as long as they don't find they're just too, too embarrassing to print.