ANGELA GREGORY: What a great big load of old rubbish

Natalie Portman in Black Swan

Natalie Portman in Black Swan

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LAST week Onchan Commissioners dropped the bombshell that it would not continue participating in the kerbside collection scheme.

At the moment, only Onchan, Douglas and Braddan have schemes but the government – specifically the Department of Infrastructure – is looking at whether there is a case for rolling it out across the island.

Onchan, specifically commissioner Brian Stowell, says no effective case or analysis has been presented to them as to why they should fork out £70,000 a year to run the scheme themselves.

They say they have put together their own data and the figures don’t stack up.

They also claim that the reason kerbside collection was introduced in the first place was because the public was told the incinerator was almost operating at capacity and some of that rubbish would have to be sorted and go elsewhere or else it would reach crisis point.

Mr Stowell, a member of the Richmond Hill Consultative Committee, says this is not true and that the incinerator is actually operating under capacity. He says more rubbish needs feeding into it or else it will have to be turned off. Or whatever it is you do to an incinerator.

Anyway, I’m sure green lobbyists and the DoI disagree with Mr Stowell’s assessment of the situation most vehemently.

I don’t really know who is right or who is wrong. This is mainly because I have not read all the documentation surrounding the issue.

Even if I had, however, I think I have to say I would still be conflicted. And this is mainly because of the financial implications of recycling. There are very few people who are immune to the financial pressures we are facing at present. I doubt I’m alone in groaning every single time I open a utility bill.

So, to ask me to pay extra to have someone drive past my house and collect the recycling I could drop off at the bring banks at the Grandstand doesn’t instantly make financial sense to me.

Not that I don’t agree with the environmentalists. I am just not sure enough to throw myself into the green arena without thought to the practical consequences.

I’m sure any environmentalists reading this are now yelling at me about the consequences for the planet and future generations. They clearly have a fair point. It’s just that everyday life often gets in the way of the best of intentions and I think this is the problem the Department of Infrastructure faces.

It’s like being confused about religious faith, until someone can prove God actually exists some people are just unable to sign up to it.

Although many people will tell Onchan Commissioners they wish they would persist with the kerbside scheme, if they find they have to dig too deep into their pocket to keep it their protestations may become a little quieter.

Be thankful, however, we in the Isle of Man are not facing the absurd situation that the residents of Newcastle-under-Lyme find themselves in. The council has asked them to sort their waste into nine different bins. There are separate bins for refuse, glass and cans and garden waste. There are plastic bags for cardboard, textiles, paper and plastic bottles. There are also two food waste caddies – one for putting food scraps in for the kitchen and another for kerbside collection. Makes it seem churlish to criticise our little blue and green boxes doesn’t it?

I have not been asked to write a film review for quite some time but after two visits to the cinema recently I was itching to get typing.

My first outing was to see The King’s Speech, which was absolutely fantastic and definitely lived up to the hype.

Colin Firth deserves any accolades he is given and I really hope he wins Best Actor at the Oscars.

I can’t say the same for the other ‘must-see’ movie of the moment, Black Swan.

What a miserable, pretentious, joyless piece of old grey dirge that is. If Natalie Portman wins Best Actress at the Oscars it will be a travesty.

Phew, I feel much better for having got that off my chest.

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