Friday, 14 December 2012

£41,000 for ten rubbish bins ?

To be fair they're solar powered rubbish bins with a built in battery that powers a crusher for the rubbish, allowing up to 8 times the usual capacity for rubbish. And there's a built in wifi that provides a free wifi hotspot.

Hopefully we will get some sunshine and it turns out to be a successful waste management project. If things go well then more will be bought.

We seldom see much sunshine these days so I'm not too hopeful of them operating efficiently. Days that are forecast as 'blue skies with sunny spells' usually turn out like this...

And this...

After about 30 of these fly over in a few hours..

There was a report on Sky News today saying that the recent lack of sunshine in the UK was resulting in a huge rise in cases of rickets, TB and diabetes in the UK population.

Also according to a report in The Herald...

" Scotland's largest health board has reported a seven-fold increase in the number of young Scots struck down by multiple sclerosis (MS). NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) diagnosed 20 people under the age of 30 with the incurable neurological condition last year – up from just three in 2007. Overall, Scottish health boards say that in the past five years there has been a 30% increase in Scots of all ages diagnosed with MS. Health experts blame the rise on a lack of sunshine – which provides vitamin D – and other environmental factors."

People are being advised to take Vitamin D to supplement the deficiency due to lack of sunlight.

Young folk do spend more time on computer games and other types of indoor activity compared to 20 or 30 years ago so will get less exposure to the sun than my generation did. Obesity in the young in Tayside is also a major problem with NHS Tayside saying they " struggled to articulate the size of the child obesity problem in Tayside. [and] feel 440 is just the tip of the iceberg."

Despite the need for more sunshine and exercise there's a plan to close parks in order to save £30,000 a year. Surely health costs for obesity and disease due to vitamin D deficiency would outweigh any savings made from park closures ? Would it not be possible to lease the solar powered rubbish bins for a year and use the spare cash to keep the parks open for a year ? To spend £41,000 on bins for what the spokesperson said was 'a trial' seems odd. I've not previously heard of a trial on a new product where all the cash is paid up front. Why not let the manufacturers take the hit if a year long trial is unsuccessful ? This would give the authorities a year to re allocate funding for the parks. I know the money is from a different money pot ( Zero Waste Scotland or local authority ) but it all comes from the same taxpayer in the end.

Once closed, these parks will be prime targets for development as they're predominantly situated in urban areas close to other amenities.

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