Letters: City not boxing clever on recycling revamp

Kerbside recycling boxes. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Kerbside recycling boxes. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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SO, £3.3 million and saving money in the long run (Thinking out of the boxes, News, August 28) if I wasn’t laughing so hard I would be crying: and no prizes for guessing who will be paying for this.

What has prompted this, I wonder. The mess the city centre was in when the Edinburgh Festival was on perhaps?

Tram work.  Picture: Ian Rutherford

Tram work. Picture: Ian Rutherford

It is inconceivable that not one person sitting on the Edinburgh City Council has the nous to have worked out a system before now that was workable and sustainable and more importantly cost effective.

Whoever is responsible for introducing yet another very expensive system when families in Edinburgh are having to resort to food banks should be hanging their head/s in shame as they resign and walk out of their office.

And as for what we should do with the red boxes – I could make a few suggestions, but I was brought up to be polite.

Elizabeth Henderson, Whitson Walk, Edinburgh

Cyclists should be made accountable

I READ with interest Scott Hastings’ comments on the proposed cycle laws (News, August 27).

I am a motorist who also cycles and feel that cyclists should be just as accountable as motorists for their safety. Do they have insurance? I have had two near misses with cyclists coming through red lights.

Would I have been held responsible had I hit them? Also, how do you identify a cyclist who may have caused an accident but left the scene?

We are all accountable for our actions, so education is the way forward.

S Smart, Edinburgh

Answer is to leave motorists alone

It may have escaped the attention of the council, but most modern engines are designed to run at high speed to burn off exhaust fumes.

If the engines have to run at lower speeds, it means the exhaust gases will not be properly burned off and engines will start to foul up. The answer? Just leave motorists alone.

CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh

Learn from Iraq or have blood on hands

A UNIQUE feature of the Chemical Weapons Convention is its incorporation of the “challenge inspection”. Until the UN inspection team reveals conclusive and credible evidence of chemical warfare, nobody has the legal right to intervene in the Syrian civil war.

Only after such evidence has been considered by the UN can any action be taken against the culprits in this atrocity.

Thus far there is no credible evidence as to who launched the chemical attack in Syria. There is nothing legitimate or morally correct about the USA and the UK taking military action. This is a UN matter.

Moreover, the outcomes of other recent US and UK military actions in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan do not suggest any desirable outcome.

If we don’t learn from Iraq, we shall all have blood on our hands.

Malcolm McDonald, Arkaig Drive, Crossford, Dunfermline.

Creating a distance from the tram fiasco

regarding the tram project, I find it surprising that no-one can find out who inflicted this fiasco on the city of Edinburgh.

Some time ago an article by transport convener Lesley Hinds suggested that too many decisions to implement major projects in the city were made by faceless officials.

Is it conceivable that a councillor with her background and experience could be unaware of the identities of individuals who approved undertakings such as the disastrous tram project?

It seems more likely that this is an example of someone who with hindsight wants to distance herself from a disastrous project.

I Brownwight, Clark Place, Edinburgh

Argument against science and families

Alison Johnstone is anti-science, anti-economics and anti-families in the arguments she puts forward to prevent fracking (Letters, August 27).

First she hypes the risk of contaminating our water. Fracking depths are deeper in the UK and well below the water table. The US Environment Protection Agency has found almost none of the many scare stories about water contamination to be justified. A Royal Society report last year concluded that such risks can be effectively managed.

Then she argues fracking will not reduce energy prices. Yet US gas prices have recently fallen to one third of that in Europe.

One recent report estimated a modest reduction of four per cent in fuel prices across Europe was achievable from shale gas produced in one area in central England alone. That equates to roughly a reduction of £50 per household per annum throughout Europe. That would make households £7,500,000,000 better off.

Then Alison demonises gas as a fossil fuel. With around 50 per cent the emissions of coal, plentiful shale gas is widely credited with dramatically reducing US carbon emissions by replacing coal.

Then, weakly, she argues a UK shale revolution would take too long to happen. As she ridicules the views of opponents as fantasy (“horoscopes”) she is certainly doing her best to prevent cheaper fuel for ordinary people. It did happen overnight in the US – and Britain, as a world centre for drilling expertise, is in a good place to make it happen.

Alison has allowed her Green Party beliefs to skew her assessment of real world issues.

Councillor Cameron Rose, Conservative Group Leader, City Chambers