Back To The Future

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I heard on the radio this morning that the Chinese are no longer willing to recycle our recyclable waste and now we may have to pay additionally for that. I also heard that if there are any food remains in a single green bin then the entire lorry-load is discarded. If this is correct then the green bin is a waste of time.

I was born in south Dublin in 1966 and we had one bin about half the size of the current black bin and it was collected every week by the council.

The greengrocer called into the house every Thursday and delivered eggs and vegetables for the week. The breadman came and delivered the bread every day. The milkman came and delivered bottles of milk every day and took away the empty ones. There was no packaging.

At some point in time, all of these services were sent into oblivion because big companies could sell poorer quality produce cheaper. The people “running” these companies never did and never will understand anything other than “profits”.

The cost to the consumer today is that we will have to pay on the treble or the quadruple for succumbing to what appeared at the time to be a “sweet deal”.

I encourage consumers to seek out suppliers who produce and sell directly so that we might encourage a return to the ways of the 1960s and 1970s.

Ciarán Sudway,
Dublin 2.

Green bin charges (Irish Times letters page)

28 thoughts on “Back To The Future

  1. Spud

    China saying ‘no more lads’ is the biggest, and hopefully best, wake up call the West needs.
    We really need a massive change of thinking with regards packaging and waste etc…
    The amount of packaging after doing the weekly shop is simply unreal.

    1. Donal

      +1
      The unnecessary wrapping of every item of veg in plastic wrecks my head. No matter how well wrapped it may be I’m still gonna be washing it before I use it. And surely there is a better way to pop a barcode label on an item than by first wrapping it in cling film…

    2. Neilo

      The most important take away from this post is that the writer needs to assure us that he was born in south Dublin *Sideshow Bob shudder at thought of being whelped in the ‘odd numbers’*

      1. stupidoulwan

        You’re not wrong there neilo

        The echo chamber aspect of the IT and its’ readership is often reflected here in this blog site as well with the overwhelming insistence on covering women’s rugby (but never women’s gaa) etc etc.

        1. Neilo

          @StupidOW: ‘Well, Gaelic games are for the bogtrotters, dahlink!’, DARTdrawls Emily Pemberley-O’Connor from the Terenure College playing field, hoping in vain that we’ll all forget her tattie-hoking parents from Arranmore.

          1. Neilo

            @SOW: The nation’s keenest weapon against airs and graces is our innate knowledge of each seed and breed in every Godforsaken townland and a commensurately elephantine memory.

  2. Hallström

    Yes, let’s go back to the 1960s and 1970s when we used to spend about 50% of our household income on the household groceries because it’s just not acceptable today spending only 10%. That other 90% is wasted on all that other stuff we do with our money.

    1. Kdoc1

      True. Rather than the multiples ripping us off, back in the day our own shopocracy did that job. The notion of the delivery men is quaint, but not practical. It would take half a day to deliver milk to every door in one apartment block. For better or worse society has changed.

      1. Cian

        “It would take half a day to deliver milk to every door in one apartment block. ”

        Why? Or rather if a milkman was able to deliver fresh produce to an entire street/area in a morning why would they not be able to do the same in an apartment block? Or if a block is so big you need 2 milk(wo)men.

    2. scottser

      now,now, no need to be obtuse. the sentiment is correct – industry and consumers need to respond to this by producing less packaging and providing better options for recycling. delivery men, filling your own containers etc should be explored more.
      what annoys me is that glass bottles are only used once here. go buy a case of beer in holland and all the bottles and crates are reused so you only pay for the beer itself. and sue back in the day when you used to get 5p back on a bottle we were never short of a lollipop, wha?

      1. The Old Boy

        Until relatively recently* the bottles supplied by Guinness Group to the on-trade were returnables. The slogan for Guinness employees who had a beer allowance was “No bottles – No beer” if they failed to return their empties.

        Edit: *On mature reflection, this may be a gross abuse of either the word “relatively” or “recently”

  3. GiggidyGoo

    Odd then that Greenstar collected both waste and recycling ON THE SAME TRUCK the week after the snow. So either they have the technology to sort them or we are being fooled.

    1. Spud

      I reckon it’s all going to landfill / furnace at the moment until they find another place they can ship it too.

      1. Neilo

        A lot of waste companies don’t take glass and they’re starting to get snippy about plastic, too.

  4. TheQ47

    Where I live (in County Sligo), we’ve been paying for our green bin for a number of years (€4 flat fee per green bin lift, regardless of weight).

    We only get a truck coming around once a fortnight, and they collect both green and landfill waste bins into the same truck. I don’t know how that works?

  5. Cloud

    The supermarket brands are all slowly coming around to the fact that the ball is in their court regarding plastic. Most of them have committed to reduce their use of plastic packaging on their own-brand products drastically in the coming years, with a view to eliminating it completely. It’s a start, but it’s probably still not enough.

  6. Kolmo

    Are the voices in the media saying that all of a sudden “China doesn’t want” all our recyclable raw materials the same consultant voices saying that we should all start paying to have items of recyclable waste recycled into raw materials?

    Same as Irish Water shillbots saying that usage of domestic water increased dramatically when a large proportion of the population was at home, due to pure self-entitled selfishness/Blizzards/Code Red weather and you should have just paid the water tax because we wouldn’t have that, eh.. problem

    Same as dismantling the States’ military neutrality because of threats, loads of threats, threats normally dealt with by civilian police forces..but luckily we can get great deals on tanks and bombs if we buy now..

    You want to be up early to catch these strawmen…

  7. Seamus

    Well into the eighties you could buy biscuits by weight in a corner shop. And the usual way to purchase sweets was by weight. A quarter pound of Bonbons. And Seanie Brown would see you a single Major and a match for 5 pence. Absolutely no packaging or waste there.

  8. honey m

    Just got an email from my waste collectors saying they’re upping their fee coz of uncertainty in international recycling markets & our Government + additional fees per kilo if you’re over their weight allowance. Bah!

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