Azara Blog: Recycling is evidently a crime

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Date published: 2010/11/11

A Cambridge University department sends out the following email:

I have been asked by The Enforcement Officer of the Cambridge City Council to write to everyone in the Department concerning another incident of cardboard packaging being disposed of through the wrong disposal route.

In April, we were threatened with a fine because cardboard with the Department address on it was found left out for collection. On this occasion, the user had disposed of the packaging at Sainsbury's recycling Centre at Brooks Road. The problem is, in both cases, the cardboard packaging could be traced back to the University/Department because the address was visible. Any departmentally labelled cardboard is supposed to be disposed of through the commercial waste route.

This is another indication of the stupidity of the people who run Cambridge (and the country, for that matter). So the city (and the country) lavishes praise on residents who throw cardboard into recycling bins, because allegedly it is such a saintly activity. Indeed, there are even suggestions that people should be rewarded financially for doing so.

And yet, at the same time, organisations have to pay to recycle cardboard, because, surprise, there is a cost associated with recycling. So the people of Britain are given a totally hypocritical message. Recycling is saintly, or else it is a crime.

And unfortunately in this specific case, some jobsworth decided to be totally petty. It is quite evident that this was not a systematic dumping of cardboard by the department. One possibility of what happened is that many people in the department send stuff ordered via the internet to the department, because it makes more sense to do that than to send it to home (when nobody is there during the day). Or perhaps someone used some boxes from the department when moving house. Who knows. But now, it seems, it is technically illegal to dispose of any such packaging in one's recycling bin. It is totally crazy. Welcome to Stupid Britannia.

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