Recycling or Trash? I think I'll just throw it away.

I dread going home today. It's Wednesday. That means it's recycling day and I am sick, sick, sick of getting home to find that my offering, having failed to please, has against been refused by the gods of refuse. I never know why, either. There's no note. Just a full bag sitting where I left it, though the others have often been removed.

The situation is somewhat better than it was. It used to be recycling on one day, garbage on another and yard debris on yet a third. We kept a schedule posted on the door to try to help us keep track. They've consolidated that into one day -- thank god -- but we still have tons of sorting to do, never quite sure what goes where, and always the possibility that they'll reject our perfectly fine recycling for the most capricious of reasons.

Now that councils are starting to harshly penalize people who get this wrong, I can only ask why the hell they are making it hard for me to do the right thing?

I can never figure out this damned government. They bitch about "health tourists" driving up the cost of the NHS, but when I first moved here, I wasn't even asked for ID to visit a doctor. But they've made recycling such a pain in the ass I'm getting fed up. I suppose the government has every right to go around and complicate all sorts of different areas of our life, but they clearly don't stop to consider the impact on quality of life. I just want to get on living with my life. Sitting around wondering if I have the right crap in the right piles is a pain in the ass.
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I've always found endless online official complaints work well with our council ... eventually the refuse crew get the hint and actually pick stuff up as its less hassle than having to reply to every complaint. Councils are also supposed to produce a guide that tells you exactly what goes where.
Many councils just do "recycling" to tick a box
They tender it to the lowest bid, and don't really give a toss about until it's time to massage some figures about how green they are come election time.

Some councils provide a really good (subcontracted) service, but most are pants, and it's obvious that both the subcontractor and the council are only going through the motions with a few councils having up to 20% of their recycled collections sent to landfill.

Our supposedly green lib dem council recycling is pretty poor - 1 small black box and a small red bag, collections every other week, and an ever increasing number of strict rules on what can be recycled and where. It's a joke.
We have these nice new roll away cans now...the only thing we pull out is glass...everything else just gets dumped into "recycling" or "yard debris"...

We are now recycling even the little aluminum foil covers for yogurt containers....
"I just want to get on living with my life"
Look at the bright side: if that is the only issue you have right now, Life does not treat you too badly. :-)
Sometimes they do leave a note in the door explaining what the issue is - but we do still have a leaflet knocking around the house explaining what and what can't be recycled.
Governments aren't measure on 'impact on quality of life'--therefore they don't serve that purpose. You get what you measure, and measuring government is one of the more difficult things I can think of.

It's unfortunate: government can do so much good, but the culture is usually so toxic and inefficient, it marginally meets its potential.
Would you support having to show ID before getting medical treatment, and mandatory charges for primary healthcare for non-UK residents?
Both issues are problematic. I wouldn't argue that someone should be forced to show ID for A&E visits if they're in danger, but otherwise, I think the idea could help.

And mandatory charges for non-UK residents? I don't think I'd have a problem with that, but I honestly haven't looked into the situation enough to be sure what the implications are.
All emergency treatment is free irrelevant of country of origin & visa status, so no one would ever need to show ID in A & E anyway.

Charging for primary care is supposed to happen for non-EU people or people from a country we haven't got an agreement with, who aren't here legally long term (like you, who shouldn't ever be charged btw). The problem arises because reception staff don't wish to be accused of racism by singling out people to ask - which only leaves asking everybody or nobody. The government still hasn't managed clear guidance on this despite the fact that they have been 'reviewing it' for the last decade.

... I wish I specialised in something more interesting :(
Asking for ID gives you the problem of what is an acceptable ID. I can't think of a single thing that I would accept as proof of legal residency (which is the standard that is supposed to apply) apart from the appropriate visa in a passport. And that, of course, isn't something that EU passport holders will have. But having an EU passport doesn't necessarily mean you're a legal resident, so non-UK holders of EU passports all fall into the category of "no idea". Then there's all the UK citizens who don't have passports. Come to think of it, there are UK citizens who aren't entitled to free treatment, because they're not UK *residents*.
I thought this quote was interesting:
It has generally been estimated that the Iraq war has so far cost Britain around £6-£7bn. But last year the government was willing to gamble with - which often means losing - more than £50bn of taxpayers' money. For what? To ensure that an irresponsible bank called Northern Rock did not go bust. That disparity shocked me. I'm not saying we should be spending more on Iraq. But I found it astonishing and disturbing that the government thought it perfectly in order to stake seven or eight times the amount spent on a five-year long foreign war just to keep one incompetent financial institution (not even one of the country's largest) alive. Was there no one sensible or courageous enough to tell Alistair Darling or whoever: "This is wildly disproportionate and wrong. It will not do"?

I wonder what people would really think? Let me try my hand at a survey question: "Which is more important: fighting militias and bombing buildings in Iraq, or making sure that hard-working British families and pensioners don't lose their savings because hotshot bankers screwed up?"

(and what's the ROI on the Iraq war, vs the ROI on making sure a bank doesn't fail?)