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Cleantech, innovation

Pioneered in Britain 3

” Setting oneself on a predetermined course in unknown waters is the perfect way to sail straight into an iceberg.”Henry Mintzberg

With the benefit of historical hindsight, humans can see things that should never have happened, or should have happened differently. This is true in almost all settings such that without the benefit of hindsight, making big decisions calls for wisdom and caution.

Yet if there is excessive bueraucracy in the way of progress, caution is not enough as the red-tape can not only perpetuate a situation, but also choke any essential progress needed to get things back on track. And the world is not short of examples where too much tinkering messed up the course of things.

Take for example the subject of waste disposal. While fly-tipping is a criminal offence, it continues to be  a major problem to most councils. Infact according to an article by the guardian, fly-tipping is on the increase, with London alone experiencing a 279% increase between 2009 – 2010 alone. Recently, I found this outside a block of office buildings (took 2 shots which I have co-joined rather unsuccessfully) while taking a walk in my home town:-

I found myself wondering whether Councils across the country were doing enough to prevent such incidents? You hear of the isolated fine, but these appear to be rare. What’s fascinating is that nothing short of a fortune is being spent  by Councils countrywide in cleaning up, but whether its having the desired effect is a different matter altogether. According to the guardian article above, Liverpool Council spent £200,000 cleaning up illegally disposed waste; Birmingham – £750,000 and Doncaster £450,000.

So, its clear that we can’t educate these people as to why fly-tipping is bad for the environment. But maybe, we could reduce the amount of money spent on fuel for running waste disposal trucks to compensate for expenses in cleaning up the mess. By replacing(or converting) some of them with compactors that run on green fuel (solar powered or those that use eco-friendly fuel cells used in electric cars [refer to a Japanese case here on Kyokuto Kaihatsu Kogyo Co., Ltd.’s “Electric Garbage Collection Truck]) maybe, savings could be realised that way.  The extreme end of this scheme would involve employing garbage collectors (or enlisting volunteers – big society style) to clean up bits of the city, on bicycles; or bajajs.

Why not, if innovative ideas such as motorbikes for use as fire engines have been deployed.

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Such ideas will create jobs, will save money (Philadelphia for example has reportedly  saved US$900 million by using an eco-friendly smart waste recycling system [click on YouTube video at the link]), it will enhance the green credentials of the councils and will keep our streets clean

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