Friday, 9 November 2012


“Good morning Convener.”
“Ah, how are you Nigel, and how are your pigeons getting on?”
“How are my what? Convener?”
“Oh it doesn’t matter, how are things today?”
“Well I was wondering how you were getting on with the budget consultation exercise?  We really need to make sure that our message is getting out there and that people recognise what’s in front of us.”
“Well it’s not been too bad.  I was up at Aberlour the other night and there was a fair turnout.  Mind you, it could have been better but we were up against Inverness Caledonian Thistle playing Rangers in the Scottish League Cup.  So maybe that had something to do with it”?
“And do you think that the people in Moray now understand the scale of the problem and the sacrifices they may have to make?”
“Well I have real misgivings about that.  Quite a number of them were looking for more money to be spent upgrading roads and putting on more buses and improving libraries and so on when what we’re really trying to do is save money.  I really don’t know how to get the message across.”
“Well what about recycling?  Recycling costs a lot of money you know.  For every ton of rubbish that the Council sends to the landfill sites, it costs us £64 pounds in landfill tax.”
“Landfill tax!  Now there’s a good idea.  What do we spend that money on?”
“No, no Convener, you misunderstand.  The landfill tax is imposed by the Scottish Government.  The money goes to the Government not to the Moray Council.”
“Wait a minute!  That’s not fair – we collect the rubbish, truck it all the way to Dallachy and then we have to pay £64 a ton to put it in the ground?”
“Precisely, Convener.  And the really bad news is that the cost rises by £8 a ton every year.  It’s a way of encouraging local authorities to stop sending their refuse to landfill because of the environmental impact that this has on all of us.”
“Is there not a “get-out” clause?”
“Get-out, Convener?”
“Yes.  You know, nudge, nudge , wink, wink.  You guys always find ways of getting around this sort of thing.  Is there not some way we can avoid paying?”
“I’m afraid not Convener.  The process is strictly monitored.  The only way we can avoid it, is by recycling.  Are you a keen recycler yourself?”
“Oh - absolutely, I’ve been recycling since I was a child.  I even had a bitsa bike!”
“Bitsa? Convener.”
“Yes – you know, it was made from bits of one bike and bits of another one.  We got them up at the rubbish dump an’ joined them together.  He Presto - a bitza bike!”
“Yes, very good Convener but I think we need more modern examples to encourage people to recycle.”
“Well they can put their lemonade bottles back for a start!  My granny always sent me to the sweetie shop to get thrupence back on every one.  And it was the same with the milk bottles, a quick rinse out and they were out the door for the milkman in the morning’ – recycled!”
“Yes, Convener.  Most illuminating - but we need to concentrate on the here and now.  Perhaps you should do more to encourage waste food recycling.”
“Waste food recycling?  There’s nothing new about that either.  My granny used to keep a bucket at the back door and anything that was left over after our dinner – mind you there wasn’t much – went in the bucket and then she fed it to the hens.  Then, every now and then, we would recycle a hen”

“Recycle a hen Convener?”
“Certainly. She would draw its neck and we would have it for our dinner!.  Then a day or two later, nature would take its course and we would recycle it”
“CONVENER!, that’s far too much information.
“Maybe - but that was real recycling”
“Well that’s what you’ve got to do now Convener.  You’ve got to help persuade people to use their food recycling containers and cut down the amount of food waste that is sent to landfill.  Remember, every ton of food waste is another £64 pounds.” 
“How about a poem?”
“A poem, Convener?”
“Yes, like we had a school when we needed to remember something. You know – Thirty days has September, April June and November .. it made it easier to remember which one was which…”
“Well it might work, Convener…”
“All right, here we go ……
Please don’t throw your food waste out
That’s not what recycling’s all about
No cabbage leaves or potato skins
Or Brussel sprouts put in green bins
Just put them in your grey container
There you go - it’s a real no brainer!
“Will that do?”
“Yes Convener but perhaps you should start with the line “With apologies to William McGonagall””
For further information on how you can help the Council save money by recycling (including food waste) visit the Council's website by clicking the link here.

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