No Minister! Sir Humphrey Can Recycle Too

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The Sir Humphreys of the Beehive need to do their bit for recycling
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Good investigative digging from the Herald on Sunday has unearthed the shocking news that the Environment Minister Nick Smith thinks it is a “horror story” that senior bureaucrats may be taught how to recycle their garbage!

“I’ve heard horror stories of senior bureaucrats earning over $100,000 a year sitting around for an hour getting lessons on how to separate their rubbish,” Environment Minister Nick Smith told the Herald on Sunday.

This croaks me up big time! Does Nick think it is OK to learn about recycling if you are on a lower wage? I mean what is the cut-off wage that makes it worthwhile to recycle… 70K, Nick ? Or is it …40K Nick? Or does National’s Environment Minister think learning about recycling is just a load of rubbish.Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman is right to take Nick to task for putting these well paid advisers above the hoi polloi.

Green Co leader Russel Norman said: “Just because you’re a ministerial adviser, does that mean you don’t have to recycle and reduce waste but everyone else does?”.

Recycling is about people actually caring what impact they have on the planet and it wouldn’t hurt a few hard working senior civil servants to muck in too. Nick also needs to stop referring to every scheme designed to minimise our damage to the planet as ‘nanny state’. It makes him sound like one of those Libertarian types – the modern free-market version of the 1980s Moonie crossed with the ‘flat earth society’ – the sort always willing to shove a bit of Ayn Rand down your throat while you are waiting for the bus. Stop the trash talk Nick and while you are at it show you care by making certain the Love NZ public recycling bins stay.

8 thoughts on “No Minister! Sir Humphrey Can Recycle Too

  1. Sounds like someone needs to learn how to reduce lessons on sorting to maybe 5 minutes tops, rather than an hour.

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  2. If they’re so inept as to need lessons on sorting recycling, how come they are getting paid a hundred grand a year?

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  3. “If they’re so inept as to need lessons on sorting recycling, how come they are getting paid a hundred grand a year?”

    They could be inept at a lot of things Sam, but one thing they are very good at is telling the right people what they want to hear. That is why they are getting 100K a year.

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  4. I would think that Mr Nick Smith is commenting more on the fact that people who are paid in that bracket are there to make decisions and it is their support staff who should be aware of post modernist mores of actualising the results of that decision making.

    The obvious National party line is that having cabinet ministers being taught recycling principles is just more nanny state “politically correst” posturing but the poor chaps aren’t so good at raising the whole question.

    Anyways, recycling has become just another industry where a good idea has had the icing removed to become a byword for earth conscious progress. Recycling used to be part of a whole package which was about making things that lasted and being able to fix them when they broke and then, at the very end of a long life of usefulness, being able to recycle those things for re-use. Re- cycling is a farce.

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  5. What exactly is the point of linking to an article then blatently misrepresenting it? It’s not Nick Smith that looks bad, it’s you.

    ‘Environment Minister Nick Smith called the “puny” desk bins impractical, ridiculous and a “cute gimmick” that achieved little. “We want to see people taking a good, practical approach to recycling”‘

    Where is the problem?

    It has been demonstrated that some misguided recycling schemes consume more resources than they save. They are indeed “gimmicks.” It sounds like these are what Smith is attacking.

    “Recycling is about people actually caring what impact they have on the planet”

    Hardly. Some recycling schemes have a negative environmental impact and are simply about genuflecting to the green god. If you people refuse to see the difference, and would blindly continue with such damaging initiatives, then you are clearly not ‘caring about what impact you have on the planet.’ You are caring about making cheap shots for political gain.

    “Nick also needs to stop referring to every scheme designed to minimise our damage to the planet as ‘nanny state’.”

    Has he referred to “every scheme” in such terms? I doubt it.

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  6. The point is there always has been recycling when it was viable to do so (cars, aircraft), but in other cases it isn’t. When recycling costs more than sourcing a commodity directly, you might ask why you waste resources recycling instead of throwing it away (assuming there are no subsidies for waste disposal).

    That’s what this comes down to. If the argument is about externalities then address those, don’t treat recycling like a “good” in itself. For example paper is perpetually renewable, glass is hardly going to run out on this planet, and metal based recycling is almost always viable anyway. Plastics are a function of the price of oil, which at the moment makes throwing them away the most sensible thing to do – assuming you pay the cost of filling a landfill with something that takes a long time to biodegrade.

    Funny how you’re sensitive about “nanny state”, is it that you don’t want to convince people to “save the planet”, but prefer to force them to? That’s the nanny state point.

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  7. Well said LS……Recycling,for the most part is bulllshit…wasting resources to recycle that for which there is no demand.

    Makes perfecrt sense to Greens and the other mentaly deficient however..

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  8. libertyscott Says:
    March 3rd, 2009 at 1:56 am

    > The point is there always has been recycling when it was viable to do so (cars, aircraft), but in other cases it isn’t. When recycling costs more than sourcing a commodity directly, you might ask why you waste resources recycling instead of throwing it away (assuming there are no subsidies for waste disposal).

    That’s a valid point, but I don’t think its what Dr Smith was getting at.

    I’m often sceptical about whether I should bother recycling plastic, when the environmental benefits seem quite marginal.

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